UNRWA postpones start of school year in South due to Ain el-Helweh clashes
More than 11,000 Palestine Refugees children in South Lebanon will not be able to join their peers at the beginning of the school year on 2 October. This is a quarter of refugee school children and is due to violence and clashes in the Ain el-Helweh camp, the largest in the country.
“UNRWA was forced to take this decision given all our eight schools inside the camp have been taken over by armed groups. They have sustained significant destruction and damage. Other schools – outside the camp- are currently being used by displaced families,” said Dorothée Klaus, Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon.
At least 4,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in Ain el-Helweh. Many sought refuge in UNRWA facilities while others are staying with relatives and friends.
“UNRWA is currently working to find alternatives so that children from the camp and the surrounding areas can go back to school as soon as possible. Children’s education is a right that should never be compromised. We call on those fighting and those with influence over them to vacate the UNRWA schools inside the camp,” concluded Klaus.
Meanwhile, UNRWA has been providing safe spaces and some education material for children and activities so they can have some learning and be able to reconnect with their childhood.