UN Agency For Palestinian Refugees Faces Funding Crisis

A U.N. agency appealed Wednesday to the international community to donate tens of millions of dollars to help improve living conditions for Palestinians in crisis-hit Lebanon

The appeal by the agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA is asking for an additional $87.5 million is to provide Palestinian refugees with cash assistance to the poorest, cover hospital expenses, as well as transportation for children so that they can go to school.

UNRWA says more than 210,000 Palestinian refugees are among the most vulnerable and that some basic commodities have become out of reach for many as Lebanon sinks deeper into the economic meltdown. It added that more than 58% of Palestinian refugees here have reduced the numbers of meals they eat every day.

About 400,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants mostly live in a dozen refugee camps in Lebanon, set up for those who fled or were pushed out during fighting surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948. An additional 27,000 Palestinians fled from Syria over the past decade during its deadly civil war.

The Palestinians in Lebanon are prohibited from working in professional jobs, have few legal protections and cannot own property.


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Palestinian refugee Hiam Habib said UNRWA’s assistance was dropping while everything becomes so much more expensive. She spoke from the Palestinian refugee camp of Burj al-Barajneh in southern Beirut a few miles away from UNRWA’s offices.