Floods Hit Sabra and Shatila Camp; Syria and Palestine Refugees Require Aid

Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon have been hit by floods after heavy rain these past few days. As a result, 22 thousand refugees from Palestine and Syria are affected and in need of urgent humanitarian aid.

Lebanon flood
Illustration. Floods hit a refugee camp in Bekaa, Lebanon in 2019. (UNHCR/Diego Ibarra Sánchez)

ACTNews, LEBANON – Sabra is the name of a poor settlement on the southern outskirts of West Beirut, adjacent to the Shatila refugee camp which was built for Palestinian refugees in 1949. Over the years, the number of refugees has increased, not only from Palestine but also from Syria. It is estimated that until 2021, there will be around 22,000 Palestinian and Syrian refugees living in the two camps.

Sabra and Shatila are also known as witness of the homicide of Palestinian refugees in 1982. Approximately, 3,500 Palestinian refugees and local Lebanese were killed. Most of them were women, children, and elderly people.

These past few days, heavy rain has been reportedly occurred in several regions in Lebanon including Sabra and Shatila Camps. As a result, floods of adults’ thighs now hit the two camps. Based on ACT’s Global Humanity Response (GHR) monitoring, the water still inundates the locations as of Wednesday (11/24/2021).

Said Mukaffiy from ACT’s GHR team admits that the current flooding in both camps has the potential to cause various waterborne diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, and skin diseases.

"This poses a serious threat to the refugees’ health, especially children as they are very vulnerable to infectious diseases caused by the dirty water from this flood," Mukaffiy explained.

Mukaffiy continues that the refugees are currently in dire need of humanitarian aid especially food and clean water. Floods make it very difficult for refugees to get food while access to clean water has also been cut off.[]