Syria Regional Refugee Response Update Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt (17 January 2013)
As of 15 January, there were 638,286 Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Jordan and North Africa, a near tenfold increase compared to May 2012. Based on recent arrival trends, humanitarian agencies estimate these countries may be hosting 1.1 million Syrian refugees by end of June 2013. A new interagency Syria Regional Response Plan covering the period from January to June was therefore launched by UNHCR and its partners in December 2012 in Gene- va (see last page for information on funding requirements for the new RRP).
Extreme weather conditions in the region over the past two weeks have caused considerable damage and hardship to host and refugee populations, particularly in Jordan where parts of Zaatri camp were flooded, and in Lebanon where rain and snow limited access to the worst hit refugee locations. Humanitarian agencies on the ground have been working round the clock to help refugees recover and withstand dropping temperatures and continued bad weather.
In Jordan, over 2,650 refugee families in Zaatri camp were relocated to prefabricated shelters on site. Additional high thermal blankets, mattresses and clothes were distributed to the affected population. The drainage system was maintained and emergency WASH facilities provided.
More than 300 new dry tents were distributed to refugees and all communal spaces were provided with heaters. 1,500 cubic meters of gravel were immediately delivered to affected areas. All registration, protection and community services, along with the provision of shelter, food and non-food items, and medical assistance was maintained for all new arrivals on a 24-hour basis.
In Lebanon, agencies provided winterization items to families who had lost their belongings due to flooding and distributed over 6,300 hygiene, baby and food kits, mattresses, blankets, warm clothes, fuel vouchers and heating stoves. Registration was interrupted in the Bekaa due to roads being blocked so refugees with registration appointments were rescheduled, while new arrivals continued to receive assistance from UNHCR, partners and local municipalities.
Workers visited accessible families to ensure refugees were safe and to distribute extra warm clothing, blankets and fuel vouchers for heating. Flooded shelters were drained, and some families moved to better insulated sites.
UNHCR remains in daily contact with municipalities where tented settlements are located, and where the local authorities have provided pumps to remove water, while agencies present are supporting the drainage system, in addition to reinforcing shelters.