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UN urged to offer financial aid to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon

April 20, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Members of UNRWA prepare food aid in Gaza on 31 March 2020 [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

A Palestinian rights group urged the UN on Sunday to offer urgent financial aid to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to help them cope with the economic and social crisis resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, Safa news agency has reported.

The Palestinian Association for Human Rights said that the preventative measures taken in Lebanon to curb the spread of the coronavirus have paralysed businesses and the economy.

Coinciding as it does with the dramatic rise in the price of food and basic commodities, this is reflected in the awful reality facing Palestinian refugees in the country.

The Association warned of an imminent explosion of public feeling if no steps are taken to deal with the direct social impact of the closures and price rises.

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Nearly 90 per cent of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have lost their jobs, it pointed out, meaning that they are now consumers without resources.

The rights group reminded the UN that the refugees are the responsibility of the UN in general and its Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in particular.

UNRWA, it insisted, must take serious steps to meet the needs of the refugees, with a six-month relief programme approved as the first stage.

With 25,000 Palestinian refugees having fled from Syria to Lebanon and now living in dire conditions, the problems in Lebanon have been compounded.

The Association called upon the UN to provide financial assistance to all of the refugees in US dollars instead of Lebanese Lira, as the latter’s low value reduces its purchasing power.

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