Up to 11 people have been killed and at least two children injured in fighting at Ein el-Hilweh camp, the largest of 12 refugee camps in Lebanon which is home to up to 80,000 people including Palestinian refugees as well as Syrian, Lebanese and migrants from other countries.
Mohamad Mannaa, Save the Children’s 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 centre 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 prioritise 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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NOTES TO EDITORS:
Save the Children has been working in Lebanon since 1953 and co-leads the Education Sector in Lebanon. For refugees living in informal settlements, Save the Children has been distributing shelter materials, fuel and blankets so families can protect themselves from the cold. Save the Children also supplies essential items, such as washing and cooking equipment and supports local authorities to implement sanitation projects.