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Despite a ceasefire between the opposing Palestinian sides in Ein El Helwe refugee camp, where the Institute Circle works, the sutiation in the south of Lebanon is not stable. The south of Lebanon is home to many Palestinian refugees, whose families fled to Lebanon in 1948. At that time, the Zionist forces, who had secured the support of the British government for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, proclaimed the creation of Israel and expelled at least 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and occupied 78% of historic Palestine.

At that time, some 110 000 Palestinians, mostly from the northern part of Palestine, villages in the Galilee and the coastal cities of Jaffa, Haifa and Acre, fled to Lebanon. In 2014, half of the 455,000 Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA were living in twelve overcrowded camps originally established to house their grandparents who fled Palestine in 1948.

For several years, Institute Circle has been supporting Palestinian refugees living in one of the largest camps in Lebanon, Ein El Helweh. The camp hosts also a large number of Syrian refugees and the most vulnerable Lebanese. Most of the Lebanese Palestinians live on the margins of the Lebanese society. They face severe social and legal discrimination in employment, property ownership, construction in the camps and the possibility to form civil associations, etc. They live in misery, fear and uncertainty.

The majority of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon live in extreme poverty. Under the international law they have the right to return to the land from which they were expelled, however, their hope is slowly dying. The protracted displacement and the deteriorating political, social, economic and security situation in Lebanon are having a negative impact on their lives.

Institute Circle is supporting Palestinians, especially women and girls, within the project "For her dignity –health, food and protection against violence for women and girls in Lebanon". So far, the project has provided more than 1,250 hot meals and 475 food parcels to Palestinian men and women and other vulnerable families. At the same time, psychosocial support is being provided to victims of violence and gender-based violence. Gynaecological care are also provided and awareness-raising activities on gender equality are carried out.

The project is being implemented by our partner Development Action without Borders - Nabaa. The project is supported by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia


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