ACTNews, LEBANON – the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are three times for likely to have three times higher death potential caused by Covid-19 than the general public. Reuters reported, around 207,000 Palestinians have escaped to Lebanon due to the conflict surrounding Israel's creation in 1948. By February, about 5,800 of them were already infected with Covid-19, and had caused the death of 200 refugees.
This is three times the COVID-19 mortality rate for the country as a whole of just over 1%. Several factors such as dense and narrow residential conditions, high poverty rates, and the bad health conditions of refugees due to chronic diseases were said to be the reasons.
The Palestinian refugees also don’t have access to healthcare. In addition, the Lebanese Authority prohibits Palestinian refugees from obtaining Lebanese citizenship and prohibits them from working in skilled professions. Most of the refugees make their living by doing low-paid jobs in construction, handicrafts or as peddlers.
Furthermore, during the Covid-19 pandemic, based on the data gathered by the Global Humanity Response Aksi Cepat Tanggap team, a lot of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have lost their jobs.
“Unemployment means no income during the pandemic which means they also can’t meet their food needs. Moreover, the increasing food price in Lebanon makes it more difficult for the refugees. Food insecurity occurs while they can only rely on humanitarian assistance. If they didn’t receive meal assistance in a day, then they will stay hungry for a whole day,” said Amir Firdausi from the Global Humanity Response - ACT team, Wednesday (5/5/2021).
Amir also encouraged people to help in lightening the burden of Palestinian refugees so that we could minimize the rate of food insecurity and death caused by Covid-19.