samedi 29 juillet 2006

Situation in the Palestinian Refugees Camps

The Palestinians camps in Lebanon had their part from this war. While some were also bombed others received displaced persons. One of the camps in the south (Rachidiyeh camp in Sour) was bombed once leaving some injuries.

Situation in Dbayeh Camp:

Dbayeh camp is located to the North of Beirut city. Since the beginning of the war of 12th July to date (26/07/060 the camp opened its door to 56 displaced families equivalent to 226 individuals of different nationalities: Palestinians, Iraqis, Egyptians, Lebanese. A committee from the camp’s residents was formed to register all comings making sure that no political and armed parties or members are among them. A group of displaced were placed in a school run by the Nazareth Sister. Others were received by some Palestinians residents within their own homes. Currently the camp is facing an increased population due to the small quarters of houses and the little space of the camp. In one house there are at least 30 persons now experiencing hard living and social conditions. The original residents barely were able to provide their basic needs and now with the displaced it got even harder to all.

Caritas center in the camp welcomed 3 iraqi families with children that moved from Dahyeh. The center provided them with mattresses and beddings supplies (blanket and sheets), food, dippers and milk. As well, the center coordinated with the medical center of Najdeh association to ensure free medical consultation to sick ones. Pharmaceuticals, hygienic supplies and kitchen utensils such as plates, forkes, spoons, cups, tissues etc were all ensured by Caritas. In addition camp residents were providing displaced with some food supplies.

Coordination with the Nazareth sisters, medical center of Najdeh association, and St Georges church committee at the camp and caritas Center helped and was sufficient to ensure security to all displaced families and camp resident all together. However, they are facing a hard economic status.

Situation in Berj el Brajneh, Mar Elias, Shatila & Sabra camps:

These camps are on the borders of Dahyeh, the constantly targeted area of Beirut. Women Humanitarian Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with the emergency relief committee are working to assist displaced people providing them with meals, mattresses, pillows, medicine, milk, dippers...

A team of volunteers is ensuring the distribution of these items as well working to clean underground shelters and equipping them with generators and first aid kits and equipment.

Although bombs did not target Beirut camps, located at proximity of targeted areas of Dahyeh, blockaded residents inside. These camps experienced in & out movements. Palestinians as well Lebanese living next to the camps left their homes and moved inside camps. Currently there are around 200 displaced families. On the other hand, 100 palestinians families from berj el brajneh moved to other areas in the north of Lebanon and some settled down in Nahr el Bared & Baddawi camps.

Unemployment increased as many head families lost their job. Camps’ residents are fearing the war and following its progress cautiously especially that surrounding areas are being constantly and fiercely bombed. All camps are facing an increased population and still receiving to-date displaced persons. The situation of Palestinian refugees can be described with an enormous social and economical outbreak as they are trapped inside camps and unable to go out and purchase their basic needs as food.

Najla Chahda
Caritas Lebanon – Migrant Center