BEIRUT: Most Palestinian refugees from Syria do not have enough food to feed their families in Lebanon, according to a new survey highlighting the needs of an especially vulnerable group who have fled the conflict next door.
In a January survey, the American Near East Refugee Aid group spoke to families living in or around Palestinian refugee camps. The sample size was considered representative of the estimated 30,000 Syrian Palestinians in the country.
Eighty-six percent of families said food was their greatest expense, and almost 73 percent reported not having enough food to feed the entire family. Shelter also constitutes a significant cost, with just over half (52 percent) paying rent while 45 percent are staying with host families.
The ability to pay for necessities is limited by high unemployment: Just 10 percent of working age Palestinian refugees from Syria have work.
Fifty-nine percent of the families live in one room, and nearly one-third (28 percent) are in “substandard” conditions, such as rooms with open windows or doors.
ANERA also rang the alarm bell about hygiene. More than half of households (54 percent) do not have running water, and 41 percent are drinking water of unknown safety.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 29, 2013, on page 4.