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 confronted with an increased demand for services resulting from a growth in the number of registered Palestine refugees, the extent of their vulnerability and their deepening poverty. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and financial support has been outpaced by the growth in needs. As a result, the UNRWA programme budget, which supports the delivery of core essential services, operates with a large shortfall. UNRWA encourages all Member States to work collectively to exert all possible efforts to fully fund the Agency’s programme budget. UNRWA emergency programmes and key projects, also operating with large shortfalls, are funded through separate funding portals.

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and mandated to provide assistance and protection to some 5.7 million Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA across its five fields of operation. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip achieve their full human development potential, pending a just and lasting solution to their plight. UNRWA services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, protection and microfinance.

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