Palestinian refugees held a demonstration Wednesday outside a U.N. training center southeast of Beirut, protesting against recent aid cuts made by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Al-Jadeed TV reported.

The report said that protesters blocked the entrance of UNRWA’s Siblin Training Center in the Chouf. Palestinian refugees also prevented employees and vehicles from entering UNRWA’s main offices in Beirut.

It noted that UNRWA’s Director General in Lebanon Matthias Schmale and other senior officials go to the Siblin Training Centre when Beirut’s offices are closed.

A day earlier, Palestinians from the Mieh Mieh refugee camp in south Lebanon erected a protest tent at its entrance to pressure UNRWA to reconsider its newly adopted health policies.

A Palestinian national Haitham al-Ghazi began an open hunger strike Monday at the camp.

For months, Palestinians in all 12 refugee camps across Lebanon have been protesting the cuts, which UNRWA says it was forced to make due to dwindling budgets.

Last month, a 23-year-old Palestinian set himself on fire outside a clinic managed by the UNRWA at the Burj al-Shamali camp in the southern district of Tyre over aid cuts.

The U.N. agency began halting monthly payments for housing subsidies in July 2015. UNRWA also cut down on its monthly food stipend of $27 per person. Another slash in the budget came into effect in the New Year, whereby Palestinians witnessed a cut in healthcare subsidies.

There are around 400,000 Palestinians living in refugee camps across Lebanon, with an estimated 65 percent believed to be living below the poverty line. Palestinians, whose livelihoods are said to have been dramatically affected, have warned of civil disobedience in all 12 camps if UNRWA fails to back down on its cuts.

Source & Link: The Daily Star