Syrian refugees: as crisis escalates, our response intensifies

Report
from Action Contre la Faim France
Published on 12 Mar 2013 View Original

The crisis in Syria is going from bad to worse. As the New York Times recently reported, the humanitarian needs for the nation’s citizens are staggering – and many are going unmet.

Current conflict conditions in the country are not helping. Last week alone 30,000 families fled the town of Raqqa due to escalating violence, arriving in Deir ez Zour in eastern Syria. In partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), Action Against Hunger’s teams are providing assistance to more than 5,700 of those families – distributing emergency kits containing soap, shampoo, and other toiletries to help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases.

But Syria’s humanitarian issues don’t stop at the border. Since November 2011, more than 860,000 Syrians have fled the violence in their home country and sought refuge in neighboring nations. Some 300,000 Syrians have taken refuge in Lebanon, and about 30,000 of those are in the country’s already-poor Bekaa Valley region.

“These Syrian refugees are living in precarious conditions. A growing number are living in temporary tents on the outskirts of rural towns. And security is getting worse.”

—Paolo Lubrano, Director, Action Against Hunger, Refugee Program for Syrians in Lebanon

Improving water, sanitation, and hygiene

To respond, our teams are helping meet the basic needs of 20,000 Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley. We’re distributing ceramic filters for potable water, water storage tanks, and emergency hygiene kits; providing safe water; and raising hygiene standards. "This is essential to prevent the spread of diseases such as diarrhea, which could aggravate the already fragile situation these people face," according to Lubrano. We’ve also built more than 300 emergency latrines in the areas where Syrian refugees have created settlements.

“The crisis in Syria is far from over, and our organization is preparing to meet the needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon in the best ways possible”

—Paolo Lubrano, Director, Action Against Hunger, Refugee Program for Syrians in Lebanon

Our team remains committed to continuing our work in Lebanon in the months ahead, providing an opportunity for health and hope among Syria’s refugees.