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160,000 Palestinian refugees below poverty line in Lebanon

April 6, 2013 2:29 P.M. (Updated: April 7, 2013 10:32 P.M.)
BEIRUT (Ma'an) -- Around 160,000 Palestinians are living below the poverty line in refugee camps in Lebanon, the ambassador to Beirut says.

Nearly 13,000 Palestinian refugees are living in extreme poverty in Lebanon, Ashraf Dabour told Ma'an.

Palestinian refugees are banned from entering 75 professions in Lebanon. "Practicing any of these careers is considered a breach of Lebanese law," Dabour said.

The Lebanese parliament amended a law restricting Palestinian refugees' access to work. "However, the Lebanese cabinet has not put that amendment into effect," the Palestinian ambassador said.

"We hear sweet talk from Lebanese officials about the Palestinian refugees' right to work and live in dignity, but in reality nothing is translated into action."

Dabour said the Palestinian health sector in Lebanon owed hospitals around $2 million. "There are some medical procedures which our health security program in Lebanon can't afford, and I hereby urge Arab and Palestinian businessmen to help our people in refugee camps in Lebanon."

Asked if Palestinian Authority projects to help refugees in Lebanon had eased peoples' suffering, Dabour said the Ramallah-based government was doing its best "but the PA itself is facing a financial crisis and that reflects on its role to help refugees in Lebanon."

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