This year Orkney Friends of Palestine along with Orkney Amnesty are aiming to raise £2,500 which will go towards Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) in Lebanon.
Between 1947 and 1949 750,000 Palestinians were forced from their lands and their homes with the creation of the state of Israel. Millions of Palestinians are refugees living in camps in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan , Syria and Lebanon.
Recently thousands of Palestinian refugees have fled from Syria adding to the number already in Lebanon. Palestinians have no access to state public services and this is where MAP can help. They are wanting to raise £100,000 for health care for Palestinians in Lebanon and the funds raised in Orkney will go towards it.
US President Donald Trump halved the funding America gives to UNRWA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees – in 2018.
Aimee Shalan, Chief Executive Officer of MAP said:
“Drastic US cuts to UNRWA funding are set to further undermine the availability of health services in this already-dire situation, with potential health- and even life-threatening consequences.
“The UK and the rest of the international community must do more to address pressing humanitarian needs, while also re-committing to the long-term fulfilment of Palestinians’ rights, including self-determination and return.”
In Lebanon 39 professions are currently barred to Palestinian refugees, including all major healthcare jobs.
As a result, many work illegally in Lebanese hospitals, without contracts, security or benefits.
Those working inside the camps have low wages and few opportunities for development.
Confined to low paid unskilled work the average monthly income for a Palestinian is equivalent to £258.
MAP have produced a report: Health in Exile- Barriers to the Health and Dignity of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon which details the current situation.
The Report recommends that to support the health and dignity of Palestinian refugees the international community, including the UK Government, should:
• Increase support for healthcare providers including UNRWA, local and international NGOs to fill immediate gaps in healthcare provision for Palestinian refugee communities
• Work with service providers – UNRWA, the Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS), NGOs and others – to ensure that healthcare provision for Palestinian refugees is affordable, appropriate, sustainable and comprehensive
• Ensure that aid and development initiatives aimed at addressing the humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees consult with these communities and uphold their right to self-determination.
To donate to the Orkney Friends of Palestine/Orkney Amnesty Appeal click the following link: Orkney Friends of Palestine 2018 Campaign
Reporter: Fiona Grahame
Related story: The West Bank: Conquest by Concrete