Misery doubles in refugee camp as many flee violence

BEDDAWI REFUGEE CAMP, Lebanon (AP) — The fear of lice spread through this crowded Palestinian refugee camp, where taking a shower has become a luxury, sent 250 boys and men scurrying to get their hair cut.

Conditions at the northern Lebanese camp have deteriorated over the past week as refugees fleeing gunfire between the army and Islamic militants have taken shelter here — doubling Beddawi’s population and placing more burdens on the already cramped camp.

But with no end in sight to the standoff between the army and Fatah Islam militants, relief organizations and residents here are trying to adjust to stem the spread of disease.

The Beirut-based Islamic Charitable Reform and Guidance Association rounded up barbers on Sunday to cut hair to keep lice from spreading and placed showers and battery-operated lamps in classrooms that have been converted into apartments. The U.N. agency that oversees Palestinian refugees has distributed about 4,000 mattresses, 3,500 pillows, 3,500 blankets and 1,040 hygiene kits, most of them to people in Beddawi.

“Such gatherings make us fear the spread of disease and lice,” said Jihan al-Qaisi, a spokeswoman for Islamic Charitable Reform.
Please read on Haitham Sabbah’s blog Sabbah’s: Fath al-Islam Reality & Palestinian Refugees Misery
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