UN Warned From The Rising Number Of Impoverished Palestinians In Lebanon

MEE/Ahmad Abou Salem

The U.N. warned that the number of impoverished Palestinians in Lebanon has risen substantially, fueling a “dramatic humanitarian crisis” as the country’s economy collapses further.

For the past three years, Lebanon has been in the throes of one of the worst economic crises in recent world history, according to the World Bank.

Two-thirds of Palestinian refugee families in Lebanon have reduced the number of their daily meals, said Leni Stenseth, deputy commissioner-general at the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), addressing reporters in Beirut.

Her statement comes days after UNRWA “urgently” appealed for $13 million in funding for cash assistance to families, primary health care services and to keep the agency’s schools open until the end of this year.

Lebanon hosts about 210,000 Palestinian refugees, including 30,000 who fled war-torn Syria in 2011, according to UNRWA.

Cholera has spread mainly among the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, but no cases have so far been reported in Palestinian camps.

“Better to act now and provide us with what we need,” she said in reference to the agency’s funding needs, “rather than responding too late.”

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