B3 Ai Haraguchi
Hello everyone. I am Ai Haraguchi, a member of the Fujii’s seminar in 2019. I participated in the lecture about the “Current status and issues of supporting Palestinian” by Akihiro Seita in February. He is the Director of Health Programme of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). CCP Japan organized this lecture. He shared his experience of supporting Palestinian as a member of UNRWA. Here, I would like to share my most memorable thing in his lecture.
“We could not save lives we could save.”
He claimed that one of the huge issues of supporting Palestine is the supply shortage. Especially supporting Gaza is very difficult, because of the border barrier constructed by Israel between Gaza and Israel. The border barrier restricts the cross-border movement of not only civilians but also a member of UNRWA. Therefore, the difficulty of entering and exiting makes supply shortage; then, many hospitals could not help the people in need. Also, short of hands is a big problem. He heard that some patients died while waited for their order of surgery.
“It was like a marginal village in Japan”
In Lebanon, many Syrian refugees fled from Syria. Actually, there are struggles between them and local people. On the other hand, some Syrian refugees got left behind in Syria. He visited the refugee camp in Syria. Almost all people who live in the camp are elderly persons and disabilities. There are some reasons why there are many disabilities in Syria: the wound of conflict, malnutrition, the tradition of cousin marriage and all that. It was so difficult for them to leave the country in a conflict situation. Almost of them lives away from their family. Therefore, they have to fight against loneliness and poverty. Also, the condition of the camp is so bad. One of the refugees said that “Hell is better.” The phrase stood out in his memory.
I realized the specific difficulty of supporting Palestine and the marginal situation of refugees. UNRWA has worked hard for such a long time since 1948. That’s why we need to pay attention to Palestinian status, and issues continue to improve the issues.
In conclusion, I would like to appreciate Mr. Akihiro Seita, who gave me the lecture, although he was on vacation, CCP Japan, and all the participants.
Brochure of CCP japan