Statement on UNRWA’s Response to Cholera in Lebanon

16 November 2022

Beirut, 14 November 2022


UNRWA announces that in response to the Cholera outbreak in Lebanon the Agency implemented the following measures:  

With respect to health, UNRWA ensured availability of all medications for Cholera to any patient who visits the health center including the Oral rehydration solutions. Any Palestine Refugee requiring hospitalization for cholera will be provided with 100% coverage. The Agency will also cover 90% of the hospitalization bill in the hospitals assigned by the MOPH for Cholera patients treatment in Lebanon that are contracted by UNRWA. The Embassy for Palestine agreed to cover the remaining 10% of the hospital bills. In addition, the agency is coordinating with the MOPH and other partners to ensure that Cholera vaccines are made available to Palestine refugees based on the priority in the areas where Cholera is more prevalent. Available vaccines were administered in the North (Akkar, NBC and BC) as well as in Central Beqaa area by specialized NGOs in coordination with the MOPH. 


On the environmental health level, UNRWA is:

  • Chlorinating water sources inside camps and ensuring free and total chlorine test on a daily basis to ensure chlorine is within the acceptable ranges.
  • Conducting bacteriological water tests to ensure water safety.
  • Increasing the pumping hours in camps by procuring additional gas oil quantities to ensure that water is not stagnant in water tanks and to enhance hygiene practices in camps.
  • Ensuring systematic collection of solid waste and regular cleaning of sewer lines to avoid flooding of wastewater networks.


At school level:

UNRWA is ensuring and enhancing hygiene, chlorination of water tanks or water sources and raising awareness. Posters and leaflets are distributed in schools, health centers, and other UNRWA installations in addition to the dissemination of audiovisual material via WhatsApp groups and social media. Additional school attendants have been appointed in all schools to monitor strict hygiene. Training is provided to all health staff and started to be provided to the education staff as well.

So far, five cases of Cholera have been confirmed within the Palestine Refugee community in Mid-Beqaa and the North and none of them necessitated hospitalization.


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Background Information: 

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.