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More UNRWA Schools Taken Over by Armed Groups in Southern Lebanon Refugee Camp
From Dorothee Klaus, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon
“UNRWA received reports this morning that another school compound has now been taken over by armed groups in the Ein El Hilweh Palestine refugee camp in southern Lebanon.
“This brings the total number of schools taken over by armed groups in the camp to eight, risking the start of the school year in time for 5,900 children.
“We are getting credible reports of severe damage to the school buildings and looting of children’s education material and equipment from the schools.
“UNRWA reiterates its urgent call on all armed groups to immediately vacate its premises in the Ein El Hilweh camp including schools and other service offices. Their presence is a grave violation of the neutrality and safety of UN installations and is a serious threat to the education for thousands of Palestine refugee children living in the camp.
“In protest, UNRWA suspended its services in the camp yesterday for one day. UNRWA resumed some service delivery this morning. The Agency remains committed to delivering services in the camp including health, solid waste collection and relief services wherever possible across the camp. We call for open access throughout the camp so that the agency reaches all of the 50,000 Palestine Refugees who rely on its assistance and services”.
UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.
UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.
UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.
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