A displacement camp for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. (File photo)
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have called on international humanitarian organizations and human rights institutions to take urgent action in response to the dire socio-economic condition and abject poverty they have been grappling with in the Lebanese territories.
Palestinian refugees, particularly those fleeing war-torn Syria (PRS), denounced UNRWA’s latest decision to cut aid for PRS families and suspend shelter and food grants.
Activist Fayez Abu Eid said the latest UNRWA decision to cut aid for PRS is a sign of apathy regarding the abject humanitarian condition already endured by vulnerable refugee communities in displacement camps across the Lebanese territories.
He added that the decision is a serious breach of UNRWA’s humanitarian mission as mandated by the UN and the Agency’s promise to assist Palestinian refugees in its five fields of operation, including Lebanon.
Abu Eid called on Palestinian refugee families in Lebanon to keep up their protest moves and speak up for their rights pending their return to their homeland.
Starting 2022, UNRWA decided that multi-purpose monthly cash grants of 100 USD to every registered family be reduced to 25 USD per person.
A number of NGOs leveled heavy criticism at the Agency, saying the new measures would result in further despair for PRS.
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are grappling with increased hardship and vulnerability, due to long-term displacement and difficult socio-economic conditions, coupled with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 470,000 Palestinian refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon. About 45 per cent of them live in the country’s 12 refugee camps. Conditions in the camps are dire and characterized by overcrowding, poor housing conditions, unemployment, poverty and lack of access to justice.
Palestinians in Lebanon do not enjoy several important rights; for example, they cannot work in many professions and cannot own property (real estate). Because they are not formally citizens of another state, Palestine refugees are unable to claim the same rights as other foreigners living and working in Lebanon.