United Nations High Commission for Refugees - IDIA
PhilMUN 2010 19 limit the refugees’ access to the government’s public health or educational facilities and public social services to prevent a strain on its infrastructure and also to keep refugee communities isolated. 63 The optimal outcome for host states is to receive aid from international agencies and allow organizations such as UNRWA to administer public health services. Projections and Implications Refugee camps are meant to be temporary residences to those who were uprooted from homes and seek protection and basic services. Living in a setting that was built in the mindset that its residents would not be staying for very long, and lacking in the proper infrastructure and unstable services, will have serious implications on the physical and mental health of refugees. Such camps will require more comprehensive interventions to support refugees on a long-term basis. The lack of investment in the public health sector will take a large toll on the physical and mental wellbeing of refugees, who are trying to integrate back into society. Health is the foundation upon which refugees will build themselves. A health individual will have a better chance to become educated and employed and ultimately contribute to society. In stable refugee situations, chronic illnesses will become more prevalent than communicable diseases, which will require significant changes to the health care system in these camps. Chronic illnesses and disorders, such as diabetes and heart disease, are long term and require stable, continuous services. Without an emphasis in primary and secondary prevention in refugee camps, chronic diseases will continue to rise. The birthrate in Palestinian refugee camps is relatively high and the population continues to grow while the infrastructure of the camps struggles to support and provide for them. In a conflict ridden area, it is important to address both the immediate humanitarian needs of the population and ensuring long term development of the deteriorated water and sanitation sector, public health and the environment. Without 64 63 “Lebanon Refugee Camp Profiles”. UNRWA. http://www.un.org/unrwa/refugees/lebanon.html 64 “Refugee Health Today”. UNRWA. http://www.un.org/unrwa/programmes/health/refugee.html
PhilMUN 2010 20 allocating proper funds to organizations that oversee the health of refugees, such as UNRWA, the administration of health in terms of access and quality will also breakdown. Lastly, the current conflict and hostilities, and the feeling of an insecure future all significantly affect the health of the refugees. 65 65 Ibid.