Aid campaign from Turkey for the Palestinian refugees
IHH and 21 other NGOs launched the “Palestinian Camps-Development and Improvement Campaign” held at the MÜSİAD (Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association) Headquarters with the aim of improving the living conditions of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
NGOs involved launched the aid campaign to solve issues in the camps inhabited by more than 500.000 Palestinian refugees who are totally dependent on international aid to survive.
Unemployment and poverty are extremely high
There are a total of 475.075 registered Palestinian refugees in Lebanon under the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). Almost 75% of them live in 12 overcrowded camps set up in various cities; there the unemployment and poverty level is extremely high, and the housing conditions are appalling.
The Lebanon State’s Policies Towards the Refugees
Lebanon neither recognizes the UN Refugee Agreement signed in 1951, nor the refugee rights in the 1967 Protocol; legal procedures regarding the Palestinians in the country were restricted with the domestic law regulations. Accordingly, Palestinian refugees are not granted “citizenship”, and with the regulation issued in 1962, those “who do not have documentation from their own countries and live in Lebanon” are not classified as a specific foreign group.
Kemal Özdal, Chairman of Sadakataşı who delivered the opening speech of the “Palestinian Camps-Development and Improvement Campaign” program said “Millions of Palestinians were forced to flee from their homeland to other countries due to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. One of these countries was Lebanon. There are many refugee camps there. We are launching an aid campaign for the Palestinians that are struggling to survive under the appalling conditions in these camps.”
Reading a press release, IHH Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Oruç said “Today, we have come together as 22 NGOs to help the Palestinian families that were forced to leave their homeland. Hopefully, this number will continue to increase.”
Hüseyin Oruç continued “This is the 72nd year of the war that continued for a year in 1948 and resulted with the establishment of the Israeli occupation where more than 700.000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced from their homes, villages and cities. More than 5 million Palestinians have been struggling to survive under harsh living conditions far from their homeland.”
Oruç, who said, in reality, the agreement introduced as the “Deal of the Century” by the American and Israeli administrations should be defined as the “Betrayal of the Century”, added “This plan for the future of Palestine is an Israeli plan, an agreement aimed at ignoring the rights of Palestinians and this will never materialize. Palestinian refugees that were forced to migrate to different countries are living deprived of their rights. In one of these countries, Lebanon, the Palestinian refugees are deprived of their right of “citizenship” and are not classified as a specific foreign group. In the same way that Palestinians in Lebanon are unable to benefit from many opportunities including work, healthcare and education, they also do not have the right to vote. Their fields of employment are also restricted.”
Oruç, who thanked all the NGOs that participated in the campaign, also offered his gratitude to MÜSİAD for hosting the program.
Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD), Confederation of Public Servants Trade Unions (MEMUR-SEN), Hak-İş Trade Union Confederation, IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, Turkish Diyanet (Religious Affairs) Foundation, Aziz Mahmut Hüdayi Foundation, Sadakataşı Foundation, Technical Employees Association (TEKDER), Cihannüma Association, Deniz Feneri, Hayrat Humanitarian Aid Association, Fetih Der, Umut Ol Association, Association of International Doctors (AID), Orphans Foundation, International Associations for Refugee Rights, Health and Civilization Association, Darüleytam Association, Verenel Association, Hayat Yolu Association International Association for Water Wells and UDEF (Federation of International Students Association).
PROJECTS PLANNED FOR THE CAMPS