86-Year-Old Palestinian Woman Struggling for Survival in Lebanon

86-Year-Old Palestinian Woman Struggling for Survival in Lebanon

89 per cent of Palestine refugees from Syria live in poverty, while 95 per cent of PRS are food insecure. Photo credit: Interpal

Female Palestinian refugee Umm Khaled, aged 86, has gone homeless in the Lebanese territories, to which she fled from war-torn Syria.

Umm Khaled, who had taken shelter in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp, has been left on her own in an eight-meter room in AlSindibad camp, in Lebanon’s AlBekaa region. During winter, heavy rain often creeps into her room, leaving her shivering of cold.

Umm Khaled suffers from several illnesses and can buy neither food nor medicines.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an activist said: “Umm Khaled’s story is just heart-breaking. Listening to her sad voice as she narrates how she’s been unable to purchase medicines and bread is tear-jerking”.

Thousands of Palestinian refugees have sought shelter in Lebanon, where they have been subjected to a precarious legal status and dire socio-economic conditions owing to their lack of access to vital services, particularly health care.

After eight years of conflict, Palestinians from Syria (PRS) continue to be seriously affected by the warfare. Thousands have been scattered across the globe, torn away from the nourishment of home and warmth of family.

UNRWA has identified PRS in Lebanon as one of the most marginalized and poorest communities in the region.

Over 80 per cent of PRS cite UNRWA cash assistance as their main source of income; about 89 per cent of PRS live in poverty, while 95 per cent of PRS are food insecure, according to the UN agency.

Following a comprehensive verification exercise of PRS in Lebanon, conducted in July and August 2018, UNRWA verified the physical presence of 29,145 PRS (8,741 families) in the country, who are eligible for the Agency’s emergency assistance.

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