UNRWA urges support for Palestine refugees in Lebanon

Palestinian refugees and Lebanese activists sitting in fishing boats take part in a marine Palestinian-solidarity event in May (Mahmoud Zayyat - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 20, 2021

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has expressed concern over the rapid deterioration of the situation in Lebanon and its impact on Palestinian refugees.

Between the economic and financial collapse, the COVID-19 pandemic and the catastrophic impact of the Beirut port explosion, the country has plunged into multiple crises leaving Palestine refugees, one of the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon, struggling even harder to survive.

“The crises that have accumulated since 2019 have affected all segments of society in Lebanon, drastically impacting the access of refugees in general – and Palestine refugees in particular – to sources of livelihood,” UNRWA said in a statement yesterday, adding that the unprecedented depreciation of the local currency has slashed the purchasing power of Palestine refugees as prices continue to increase dramatically, with inflation surpassing 100 per cent.

“While the international community and aid agencies struggle to fill the unprecedented needs in Lebanon, which is now witnessing an acute shortage of fuel and goods, it is crucial to give adequate attention to the extremely dire conditions that most Palestine refugees in Lebanon live in, including Palestine refugees who have escaped the armed conflict in Syria,” the statement quoted UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini as saying.

UNRWA remains the main provider of basic services, such as health, education and camp improvements, to more than 210,000 Palestine refugees in Lebanon, including approximately 28,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria.