Hundreds of Palestinian refugees held simultaneous vigils today outside the supply offices of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the eight camps of the Gaza Strip, in protest of the latter’s decision to cancel poverty classifications and the resulting significant reduction in food aid to people with limited income.
The protests came at the call of the Refugee Affairs Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and its popular committees in the refugee camps, and were attended by representatives of the national action factions, associations, and effective community institutions and leaders in the refugee camps, who expressed their rejection of UNRWA’s decision to impose cuts on its services.
The protesters shouted angry slogans against UNRWA’s decision to reduce aid to the refugees by cancelling poverty classifications and unifying the coupon. Angry protesters carried empty bags of flour and milk and knocked pots at the sit-ins, in a message of frustration over the downsizing in food aid.
The popular committees demanded UNRWA in their unified speech to cancel the unified one-coupon system and reintroduce the two-coupon system, in a move to redress the Palestinian refugees classified under the extreme poverty line, whose number is estimated at 770,000 refugees.