Statement: Deadly Clashes in Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lebanon Close Schools, Put Children at Risk
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (July 31, 2023)—Clashes in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh in the south of Lebanon have closed schools and are putting children at direct risk of physical and psychological harm, Save the Children said.
Up to 11 people have been killed and at least two children injured in fighting at Ein el-Hilweh camp. Ein el-Hilweh is the largest of 12 refugee camps in Lebanon and home to up to 80,000 people, including Palestinian refugees as well as Syrians, Lebanese, and migrants from other countries.
Mohamad Mannaa, Deputy Country Director for Save the Children in Lebanon said these clashes will have an immediate and lasting impact on children and their families:
"Children should never be the target of violence and must not be put at risk of violence, nor should violent clashes stop children from fulfilling their right to education. Save the Children calls on all parties to put children's rights ahead of any other considerations and to take immediate steps to protect children in Ein el-Hilweh and the surrounding areas."
"Ongoing violence is depriving children of their right to safe access to education, with reports of damage to at least two schools leaving thousands of children out of school. Damage to civilian infrastructure could take years to repair. This escalation has forced us to temporarily close our community center where child protection activities are carried out."
"Together with our partners, we are closely monitoring the ongoing developments and exploring all possible means to urgently respond to the needs of affected children, including distribution of emergency food, shelter, and non-food items, as well as child protection services. It is crucial for all parties to prioritize de-escalation of the situation so that children and their families can be protected and services, including schools, can safely resume."
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