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Help for refugees
11:10am Monday 11th March 2013 in Letters
Recent news broadcasts remind us of the many people fleeing for survival from their homes in Syria. Many are crossing the border and escaping to Lebanon. Among them are the Palestinian families who become refugees again having already fled for their lives when their homes in Palestine were destroyed in the creation of the new state of Israel.
Syria has been home to half a million Palestinian refugees for 65 years. But the bombing of the largest refugee camp in December was a terrifying turning point that has shattered any sense the Palestinians had of being safe. An estimated 200 Palestinians are arriving in Lebanon every day. Under normal circumstances all refugees are cared for by The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). However, because Lebanon already has 12 camps which are home for Palestinian refugees the new arrivals become the responsibility of UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency). Many arrive traumatised by their experiences and in need of medical and emotional support. Sadly the resources available to UNRWA are already overstretched, which means people with existing health conditions, such as cancer or heart failure, including babies with heart defects, are limited in the medical support they can receive. UK charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is already working in Lebanon and has launched an urgent appeal to raise £100,000 to provide life saving treatment for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Please help MAP’s work and support this important appeal. You can donate on the MAP website, map-uk.org, or send a cheque to: MAP Lebanon Refugee Appeal, 33a Islington Park Street, London, N1 1QB. Sue Cooke, Windmill Rise, York.