In the presence of the financial and political crisis in Lebanon as well as the revolution against the controlling regime and forming a new government which is not able to save revive the economic condition due to bankruptcy, Corona infection has widely spread to aggravate the crisis. The authorities have declared ”call up” (nationwide measures to combat the spread of coronavirus) in all Lebanese regions including the Palestinian camps.
If you enter any Palestinian camp as Al-Jalil one, you will once behold the neighborhoods and the narrow routes deserted except some volunteers who are sterilizing the possible and reachable places.
Everything is closed: Schools, kindergartens, the mosque, the UN service office. Many associations like Najda Association and Beit Atfal Somod are closed and the political organizations are totally absent.
Giving ears to the children at homes, you can hear them repeating ”Corona Virus” without being aware of what is happening in the whole world, mainly in Lebanon.
Some of the youth in the camp have volunteered to protect the camp citizens by sterilizing it. Others have given their hands to help Al-Jalil Committee in distributing the sterilizers and cleaners, and others are at home waiting for some hope, to join their universities to pursue their study and their work to earn living again.
The adults, both men and women, are at home all the time since there is no work due to the ”call up” declared by the Lebanese government.
People are witnessing a serious economic crisis due to lack of work. The families are not able to buy the most necessary food, not able to pay for their house rent as well as paying their electricity and water bills (citizens in the camp need to buy drinking water because the water in the camp cannot be used for drinking or cooking due to poor water quality).
Honestly, we can say that the camp has become like abandoned and the unemployment rate has reached 90 % and poverty rate has exceeded 70 %. The offers and aids from the expatriates have noticeable declined, and committees are also suffering due to the financial crisis as well as the strict rules of the Lebanese banks towards their customers, making withdrawing money almost impossible.
At last, the fear of the Corona virus affects most people in the camp psychologically. This due to living in a crowded camp that lies in a region where the infection is spread among the local citizens.
al Jalil association
Baalbeck on 30/03/2020