Lebanon + 1 more

COVID-19: Concerns and needs of Syrian refugees in Informal Tented Settlements in Lebanon

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Refugees across the world are at increased risk of contracting the disease due to the overcrowded context in which they often live, combined with poor access to basic services, which challenges people’s ability to apply public health measures such as social distancing, self-isolation and proper hand hygiene practices.

The Lebanon Protection Consortium (LPC) brings together Action Against Hunger, Gruppo di Volontariato Civile and the Norwegian Refugee Council, with support from the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid. The LPC responds to shocks, persistent humanitarian needs and legal protection concerns of Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Additionally, the LPC engages in evidence-based advocacy to improve the protection environment for people affected by displacement in Lebanon.

In support to the national Covid-19 response in Lebanon, the LPC is continuing essential service delivery for people living in displacement in Informal Tented Settlements, and Palestinian camps. These services include water, sanitation, hygiene and shelter support, provision of hibernation kits (dry food rations) and emergency cash provision.

The LPC conducted 131 phone surveys on Covid-19 with community representatives, WaSH committee members and other ITS residents from 90 ITS between 17 to 20 March 2020 to assess their level of knowledge on the coronavirus and the impact of the lockdown and containment measures on their living conditions, including their ability to access services.

Main findings (of respondents, not the whole refugee community):

  • Out of the respondents, 87% of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon highlighted hygiene items (detergents and bleach) as their priority to respond to Covid-19 and 69% highlighted the need for protective equipment (gloves and masks).
  • 34% of respondents find barriers to access health services.
  • The majority of respondents (71%) identified increased panic/stress.
  • 54% of Syrian refugees responding to the survey reported stopping social gatherings and activities.
  • There is a major economic impact of the virus with 49% of respondents reporting they had to stop working.