Lebanese foreign affairs parliamentary committee visits Ain el-Helweh refugee camp

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lebanese Parliament chaired by MP Fadi Alameh has visited the Ain el-Helweh Palestinian refugee camp, accompanied by the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Dorothee Klaus. The Director of the Office of the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee, Abdel Nasser al-Ayyi, was also in attendance.

"This visit by MPs underscores Lebanon's support for the sustained work of UNRWA and its crucial humanitarian role in delivering essential services to Palestine refugees in Lebanon, and as such contributes to its stability. This comes amidst an unprecedented financial crisis looming over UNRWA due to the freeze of funding of 16 donors nations. Without funding to UNRWA resuming, UNRWA operations across the Middle East, including in Lebanon, will face comprised operations after March," UNRWA said in a statement.

The visit provided the committee with an opportunity to witness the socioeconomic conditions in the camp and to familiarize themselves with the services provided by UNRWA. The Committee visited an UNRWA Health Center in the camp, where they received briefings on the medical services offered to Palestine Refugees. They also visited UNRWA Qibya school and interacted with some students.

The MPs also met with Palestinian community leaders who explained potential repercussions if decisions to freeze funding were not reversed or if funding was not available at the end of March. The Palestinian leaders expressed gratitude to the MPs for their visit and expressed hopes for increased engagement and coordination in the future to address the challenges.

MP Alameh for his part emphasized the importance of continued operations for Lebanon as a matter of national interest and in support of humanitarian needs of Palestine refugees. He spoke of the support to be extended by the committee in its continued advocacy efforts.

The Director thanked the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lebanese Parliament for "their visit during this challenging period, showing support for UNRWA and acknowledging its indispensable role in the country for Palestine refugees that are dependent on its services," the UNRWA statement said.

Source: Naharnet

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