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As a result of the generous response of supporters to its Refugee Appeal All We Can has been able to extend its humanitarian aid response to the refugee crisis into Lebanon.
The United Nations estimate that over 11 million Syrians have fled their homes since the conflict in Syria in began over five years ago, the majority seeking refuge in neighbouring countries or within Syria itself. All We Can has been working in Jordan for over four years supporting refugees fleeing conflict in the region. Now the organisation will be extending this work into Lebanon.
According to the United Nations, nearly a quarter of Lebanon’s population is now made up of refugees. Only a very small proportion live in camps, with the vast majority dispersed in communities throughout the country. Well over a million refugees have crossed the 360 kilometre-long Syrian-Lebanon border and the pressure on local services is huge.
Unlike in Jordan, there are no official refugee camps in Lebanon. Instead, about half of the refugees live in rented housing, while the other half are in nomadic camps or hosted by families or local communities. Lebanon can become very cold in the winter and refugees often end up in sub-standard accommodation without heating or basic protection from the elements.
Earlier this year All We Can’s CEO Maurice Adams visited some of the work the organisation has now committed to supporting:
“We know that a long lasting solution is essential in war-torn countries like Syria. Until then, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children have lost their homes and their loved ones. In response, generous individuals have helped All We Can to assist refugees in Jordan over the past four years. We have been acutely aware that the bordering country of Lebanon has more than a million refugees, mainly from Syria, requiring immediate support as Lebanon is ill-equipped to deal with even their most basic needs of accommodation, water and health. Thanks to the trust many have in our work and our specialist humanitarian aid partners on the ground, we are now able to extend our practical Christian support to a new project that will initially provide shelter kits for more than 5,000 of the neediest and most vulnerable families. I have been to Lebanon and have seen the needs and how this funding will make a difference.”
In Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley the winter is often harsh. All We Can’s partner Medair is working in the region to provide shelter. Copyright: Medair/Megan Fraga
All We Can will be supporting Syrian refugees living in the Bekaa Valley region, and the shelter kits will provide families with items such as plastic sheeting, timber, plywood sheets and construction materials to repair and weather-proof their homes. Many people now coming into Lebanon from Syria arrive with disabilities, including war injuries. Some of the shelter kits will provide special provision for the elderly or people living with disabilities and each situation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. This might include supplying raised sleeping areas, bespoke sanitation facilities or the installation of accessible ramps and paths.
All We Can’s Refugee Appeal remains urgent as it continues to respond to the desperate needs of those displaced by violence in countries neighbouring Syria. To give a gift this Christmas Gifts that will support vulnerable people affected by humanitarian crises and emergencies visit www.awcdev.us/gifts
Laura works for All We Can as the Communications Manager. She is also an internationally acclaimed photographer with a passion for women's rights. She is studying MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies in her spare time and lives with her husband Stephen in Essex.
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