Witness: Difficult economic and social conditions for refugees in Burj al-Barajneh camp

Witness: Difficult economic and social conditions for refugees in Burj al-Barajneh camp
Witness: Difficult economic and social conditions for refugees in Burj al-Barajneh camp

Beirut – Safa

The Palestinian Association for Human Rights (witness) said that the economic and social situation of Palestinian refugees in Burj al-Barajneh camp in Beirut is very difficult, in light of the continuous decline in UNRWA services.

A “witness” explained during her visit to the camp to see its conditions. Following the increase in social and security problems, the lack of a joint security force inside the camp that maintains community security and prevents all forms of infringements contributed to the increase in problems.

“Witness” stated that the abnormal population density inside the camp impedes the movement of pedestrians in the narrow roads and alleys, and exceeds the capacity of the space allocated to the camp’s residents.

She pointed out that the area of ​​the camp is designed to accommodate 15,000 people, while the actual number of residents inside the camp exceeds 60,000 people. This causes abnormal pressure on the camp’s infrastructure, including electricity, water, waste, and others.

The human rights organization said: “The abnormal population density as a result of the refugee crisis from Syria exceeds the capabilities of the infrastructure, and is often the cause of the outbreak of social and security problems.

She explained that the drinking water desalination plant established by UNRWA in the camp in 2014 with the support of the Swiss embassy did not work as planned, and turned into a water purification sub-station from which most of the camp residents do not benefit, despite UNRWA continuing to provide this station with fuel and operating personnel.

“Witness” pointed out that a large part of the electricity network, the Internet, and water pipes interconnected with each other in the camp were organized recently with the support of many donors, but the encroachments on them did not stop.

Witness recommended the need to form a joint security force of all Palestinian factions to work on maintaining security and holding the violators accountable.

She emphasized the necessity of facilitating the work of the Life Management Authority, to carry out its duty and alleviate the daily life problems of the people inside the camp.

The human rights organization called on UNRWA to shoulder its responsibilities by rehabilitating the drinking water desalination plant so that the camp residents can benefit from this project.

“Witness” stressed the need for the popular committees and the Palestinian factions in the camp to assume their role, and to set strict controls to receive many displaced persons and displaced persons that exceed the capabilities of the camp and its infrastructure.

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