A report published by Human Rights Watch accuses the Lebanese authorities of neglect on the issue of immunization of the most vulnerable people such as refugees and foreign workers. In question, political interference and a lack of information, estimates the NGO.
According to HRW, 4 times more Syrian refugees and 3 times more Palestinian refugees would have died from COVID19, while among the people who benefited from the vaccination program, only 2.86% of Syrian nationals and 5.36% of Palestinian nationals were counted, while foreigners constitute 30% of people
“As of April 5, only 3,638 Palestinians and 1,159 Syrians have been vaccinated, although 19,962 Palestinian refugees and health workers and 6,701 Syrian refugees are eligible for the first phase of vaccine deployment,” lament the authors of this report. which recall that Lebanese politicians and in particular parliamentarians have benefited from doses of vaccine in secret, thus contravening the equality of the distribution specified within the framework of the financing of the program by the World Bank.
Some Syrian refugees would not register on the vaccination platform due to their illegal presence in Lebanon. They therefore fear being deported to Syria. HRW recalls that only 20% of the 1.5 million refugees have a legal residence permit. This discrimination would also affect the 200,000 refugees present, according to the report.
Moreover, foreign nationals do not have access to information concerning the vaccination program.
As a reminder, Lebanon is in 2nd place among the countries which receive the most refugees in proportion to the local population, (High Commissioner in charge of refugees entitled Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2019)
According to the report, Lebanon thus hosted one Syrian refugee for every 7 inhabitants at the end of 2019. Only Aruba with 1 refugee for 6 inhabitants is in front of the Land of the Cedars.
Read the report