Palestinians protest UN refugee budget cuts across Lebanon

Published July 16th, 2015 - 05:25 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Palestinian refugees from Syria protested aid cuts Thursday in camps and outside offices of the UN refugee agency across Lebanon.

Protesters in camps located in Beirut, Sidon, Tyre, the Bekaa Valley and Tripoli held banners that read: “The health and the education of our children is our right,” according to the National News Agency.

Some Palestinian refugees who lived in Syria before fleeing the war gathered outside the UNRWA office in Beirut, affirming that “the current UN policy shall not destroy the Palestinian resistance, and will force donor countries to adopt reasonable strategies.”

“The aid cutoff jeopardizes the Palestinian cause and their right of return,” they said.

UNRWA this month halted its $100 monthly payments for housing subsidies due to a massive budget shortfall, threatening to leave the more than 43,000 Palestinian refugee families from Syria homeless.

The agency will also stop its monthly food stipend of $27 per person in the next couple of months.

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine organized the protests in cooperation with other Palestinian factions and organizations, the NNA said.

Other protesters in Sidon and Tyre fiercely rejected UNRWA's cut to cash handouts, blaming the refugees’ misery on the latest UNRWA policy.

“The UN relief agency should accept legal and ethical responsibility to secure the refugees’ lives,” they stated, emphasizing that “they will continue their demonstrations against UNRWA measures."

Demonstrators in Tripoli and Bekaa camps called for "the unity of Palestinians to face the current challenges," urging “the Lebanese government to exert pressure on the UN agency to repeal the decision.”

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