Palestinians protest in front of the UNRWA offices in Beirut, Monday, June 15, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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A high-level meeting that will include top Lebanese, United Nations and Palestinian officials is expected soon to discuss the ongoing tensions surrounding UNRWA health funding changes. The meeting comes amid ongoing protest at UNRWA's Sidon office and in many of Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps following January's changes. The meeting will aim to discuss the crisis and find common ground on the issue.UNRWA implemented a revised health care budget at the beginning of January that diverts greater funding to tertiary health care at the cost of secondary care, which the organization says is needed to meet changing health care needs. However, many refugees feel abandoned over the move as they are now required to pay 5 percent of referral care costs if they receive treatment from a Palestinian Red Crescent hospital, 15 percent if from a government hospital and 20 percent if from a private hospital. Palestinian factions expressed high hopes for the planned meeting.
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