Reports & Researches

Palestinian Refugees in Beqaa and Heating Crisis

(Human Rights Report)


According to field estimates, the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are around 250 thousand, most of which are distributed among 12 camps and 156 gatherings. Although the challenges that Palestinians face are the same in all camps, refugees in Beqaa suffer additionally from the heating issue every year.

Around 15000 refugees live in Beqaa, mostly concentrated in Saadnayel and Bar Elias gatherings and Al Jaleel camp. With the beginning of winter, heavy rain, snowfalls, and the great drop in temperatures reaching -5°C, the refugees in Beqaa are concerned about securing heating methods.


The necessity of Fuel for Palestinian Refugees and its cost:

Fuel is considered to be the main source of heating for refugees especially with the lack of electricity. What makes it worse is that the unemployment rate among Palestinians has exceeded 93% according to recent claims of UNRWA, making it difficult for them to afford fuel needed for heating due to its high cost in light of the economic crisis. It is noteworthy that a barrel of 200 ml of fuel costs 220$. While a family consumes minimum one barrel per month, they will need 1000$ throughout the course of winter.


Measures done by UNRWA to combat the crisis and their effectivity:

Indeed, UNRWA is directly responsible for providing the Palestinian refugees a dignified life, and thus is responsible for supplying families with fuel that is necessary for heating. Last year, UNRWA distributed fuel oil to a number of families among the Palestinian refugees but wasn’t done as required due to the following reasons:

·       First: the distribution targeted a certain group of the refugees, namely Palestinian refugees coming from Syria and those who are in extreme poverty (SHC), and thus a great number of Palestinian refugees suffering the freezing wintering were excluded from the distribution.

·       Second: the quantity distributed didn’t exceed one barrel for each family and was done only once, which did not reach the minimum amount needed for heating throughout the winter.

With the beginning of winter, UNRWA haven’t announced any statement concerning the mechanism of fuel distribution among Palestinian families in Beqaa for this year, but merely made promises without translating them into reality.



Based on all the above, because we couldn’t reach the administrator of UNRWA in Beqaa despite frequent attempts, and based on the essence of its work in monitoring Palestinian refugees’ conditions, we in the Palestinian Association for Human Rights (Witness) recommend the following:

1.     Intensifying UNRWA’s effort on financial resources mobilization to maintain fulfilling its responsibilities towards Palestinian refugees in Beqaa and securing fuel oil needed for heating or providing heating allowance.

2.     Working intensely to secure funds for winter clothes and distributing them among Palestinian refugees in Beqaa especially for children.

3.     Distributing food baskets or money for families to support them during winter.

4.     Palestinian Liberation Organization taking serious responsibility towards Palestinian refugees and in particular in Beqaa and contributing in supplying them with the fuel they need.

5.     Civil society institutions to have great responsibility in terms of financing and implementing programs related to helping refugees concerning fuel issue.