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Lebanon Humanitarian Fund supports health project for Palestine refugees

28 May 2020

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Patients line up to pick up prescriptions from the UNRWA clinic. The international organization Anera provides free medications through a project funded by the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund. Credit: Anera

As a result of recent cuts to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) funding, many Palestine refugees in Lebanon have been left without vital assistance. Across Lebanon, the international non-governmental organization Anera supports Palestinian refugees living below the poverty line who are struggling with medical issues.

In 2019, the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund (LHF) supported Anera in providing medications for vulnerable Palestine refugees. Through the partnership, more than 13,000 of the most vulnerable people in Lebanon are receiving medicines for chronic diseases at no charge. The medicines improve their ability to manage illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension and other cardiovascular issues.

One of the beneficiaries of the project is Um Issa, a 56-year-old Palestine refugee living in El Bass camp in Tyre, who is unable to work because of her poor health. She suffers from joint pain and hypertension, which sometimes leaves her sleeping for two or three days straight. She goes to an UNRWA-facilitated medical clinic every month for free hypertension pills and says that not having to pay for the pills is a huge financial relief that enables her to cover other medical costs.


Um Issa, 56, who lives in Palestinian camp El Bass in Tyre, has received free medicines from the project. Credit: Anera

Fifty-year-old Nabila is also among the 2,000 El Bass camp residents who have benefited from the LHF-funded project. She used to work with her husband in the family’s business, but was unable to continue because of several fainting episodes. “I have had a really hard life,” she said. “My problems began with my nervous system during a time when my son fell ill, and then passed away. Later, I developed hypertension. I have been hospitalized twice already because of it.”

The project implemented by Anera is one of seven health projects funded by the LHF in 2019. Thanks to the project, more than 13,000 of the most vulnerable people in Lebanon are receiving critical medical assistance. Health is one of the most vital areas for humanitarian assistance and the LHF continues to engage with partners that are committed to improving the health of vulnerable people in Lebanon. Despite the necessary focus on critical health response to COVID-19-related conditions, it is vital that the provision of support for chronic, acute and psychotropic diseases continues unabated. It is the people suffering from these conditions that are in fact also most vulnerable to COVID-19.

The Lebanon Humanitarian Fund is one of OCHA’s 18 Country-Based Pooled Funds (CBPFs), which have provided a combined US$119 million to the COVID-19 pandemic response. Approximately half of the total funding is being granted directly to non-governmental organizations. Information on donating to the LHF is available on the UN Crisis Relief platform. 

For updated information on CBPF and Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) funding for COVID-19, please visit the allocation page, which is available in real time.