In order to support Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and to reduce the negative impact of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their lives, the European Union has donated over €30 million ($35 million USD).
The €30.6-million contribution was sent to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and comes as part of a larger donation of €43.2 million (~$50.3 million USD) that aims to provide support to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.
Today, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees are registered with the UN refugee agency in Lebanon, many of whom suffer from terrible living conditions that were worsened by the ongoing economic crisis and the COVID-19 situation.
To help improve their lives, vulnerable Palestinian families who came from Syria and live in Lebanon will be provided with cash assistance.
“We greatly value the European Union’s outstanding commitment to preserving the dignity and addressing the needs of Palestine refugees,” said Claudio Cordone, director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon.
This donation comes at a crucial time, considering that UNRWA recently announced that it is experiencing a financial crisis that could force it to halt some essential services that it provides to more than 5 million impoverished people.
In Lebanon, the Agency provides education, financial assistance, healthcare, and other services to tens of thousands of people, inside and outside 12 refugee camps that account for nearly half of the Palestinian refugee population.
Nevertheless, UNRWA will need more financial assistance if it is to continue to provide these services and cover the support of numerous struggling refugee families.
In parallel, President Aoun urged the International Organization for Migration (IOM) during the UN 75th session “to assist in the return of the Syrian refugees to their homeland as the explosions of Beirut’s port left 300,000 citizens homeless and Lebanon already suffers from several issues and problems.”
From its side, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is increasing its financial assistance to help support 50,000 impoverished families, as the organization declares “getting ready to assist the largest number of hungry people in its history.”
“The devastating blast that ripped through Beirut added to the woes of thousands of families already struggling to stay afloat,” stressed Abdallah Alwardat, Country Director and Representative of WFP Lebanon.