- Wavel refugee camp was originally a site of French Mandate-era army barrack in the Beqaa Valley.
- It provided shelter to Palestine refugees in 1948 and UNRWA assumed responsibility in 1952.
Wavel refugee camp was originally the site of French Mandate-era army barracks situated 90 kilometres east of Beirut in the Beqaa Valley near Baalbek. In 1948, it provided shelter to Palestine refugees newly displaced from their homes. In 1952, UNRWA assumed responsibility for providing services in the camp.
Many refugees still live in the original army barracks, which lack daylight and adequate ventilation. Conditions are particularly harsh in winter. The ongoing Syria crisis has also led to the additional presence of Syrian and Palestine refugees displaced from Syria in the camp.
Camp residents are only able to find seasonal work in agriculture and sometimes construction. Students often drop out of school in order to support their families. The camp’s water, sewerage and storm water drainage systems were rehabilitated between 2004 and 2005. However, access to potable water remains a persistent challenge, as elsewhere in Lebanon.
REFUGEE CAMPS IN Lebanon
- In Wavel camp, education is provided to around 960 students at Qastal Secondary School. There are two kindergartens in the camp, which are both managed by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
- Medical services are provided in the refugee camp by two medical officers and three specialists who visit the camp’s health centre. On average, 170 patients – including those from Syria – visit the camp’s health centre per day. Due to the remote location, access to hospitalization is difficult and costly.
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