In light of the
economic crisis and the failure of UNRWA
What are the
options of Palestinian youth in Al-Hilweh camp?
refugee in Lebanon lives in successive crises. Year after year, suffering
beyond suffering, blocked horizons and limited opportunities. An eye on the
present, an eye on the future, and what a future?
camp, the capital of the Palestinian diaspora and the largest camp in Lebanon
in terms of population, where according to UNRWA statistics, about 35,000
people live in it, while many estimates see that the population of Ain
al-Hilweh camp has reached about seventy thousand people or more, and it is the
largest in terms of area, and constructional overcrowding.
camp, which is located near the city of Sida, is predominantly commercial, as
most of the camp residents depend on shops and food to obtain their daily
of Ain El-Helweh camp also tend to work in construction and its subsidiaries,
which has become very limited. This is the result of two reasons: Lebanon’s economic conditions
and the decline in construction rates resulting from the owning property law,
which deprives Palestinians of owning property, and what this means in terms of
stopping Palestinian investment in construction, and this hinders or prevents
the Palestinian movement in this direction. Also the absence of job
opportunities originally resulting from preventing Palestinians from Practicing
The repercussions of the economic
crisis on the Ain El-Helweh camp
crisis affected the conditions of the Palestinian refugees in Ain El-Helweh
camp, to increase the size of living suffering. The great deterioration of the Lebanese pound against the US dollar
in the black market, to five times more than it was eight months ago in synchronism
with the spread of the Corona virus, has had a very bad impact on the Palestinian
refugees in Ain El-Helweh camp, including:
The high prices of goods and commodities on the camp merchants,
which led to the closure of a large number of shops.
Decline in commercial activity in the main vegetable market.
High rates of poverty and unemployment
The inability to pay the
university and school tuition fees, especially for the kindergarten stage,
including the stationery fees.
Concern over the rise in social ills.
The right to a decent standard of
The reality of the
Palestinian refugees in general, and in the Ain El-Helweh camp in particular,
is contradict with the goals for which UNRWA was established and with
international human rights law.
In light of the
suffocating economic crisis, the services provided by UNRWA do not meet the
needs of the refugees, not even at its minimum.
The social and
relief organizations are making huge efforts to provide aid and assistance
according to their capabilities, but these efforts remain scarce in comparison
to the size of the difficult conditions that the camp residents are going
The question to
be ask is what are the consequences of this stifling economic crisis and the
failure of UNRWA. What are the options available to Palestinian youth? A
question needs tremendous efforts, extraordinary initiatives and great
cooperation to save Palestinian youth from an unknown future.
Association for Human Rights (witness)