The Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) views, with great interest, the visit of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, to the Lebanese Republic, especially in the light of the severe economic, political, and social crises, which have affected the Palestinian refugees prominently.
(Witness) points out to the presence of more than 250 thousand Palestinian refugee in Lebanon since 1948, as a result of the Zionist gangs’ crimes which later become the so-called "Israeli Defense Forces”, suffering from tough economic conditions, by which the rate of poverty and unemployment exceeded 80% under the Lebanese government’s marginalizing policy towards Palestinians and the decline in UNRWA’s basic services.
The current economic and financial crisis in Lebanon has made most of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live below the extreme poverty line, and this bears the international community’s responsibilities towards its pledges to continue contributing financially to UNRWA in order to persist in providing basic services such as education, relief and medicine, and this places major responsibility on the shoulders of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and obligate those countries to fulfill their commitments.
We, in the Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness), ask Mr. Guterres the following:
1.Diligent work on implementing the international resolutions related to the return of Palestinians to their cities and villages, especially Resolution 194 issued by the United Nations General Assembly.
2. Visiting one of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and listening to its popular activities and civil society organizations, similar to the Lebanese ones.
3.Working on transforming a large part of UNRWA's operational budget into a fixed budget, as is the case with many international organizations affiliated with the United Nations.
4.Maintenance of provision of financial and relief support programs for Palestinian refugees from Syria to Lebanon through UNRWA until they return to their homes and camps in Syria.
Beirut in 20/12/2021
Palestinian Association of Human Rights (Witness)