Islamic Relief is providing winter relief to Syrian refugees in neighbouring Lebanon.

More than four million people have escaped from conflict-torn Syria. Refugees are often not permitted to work and have no means of supporting themselves so are dependent on international aid. One of their main concerns is now surviving winter. Living in flimsy tents with often only a plastic sheet covering the ground, they can struggle to maintain hygiene in the cold wet weather when the ground becomes soft and turns into mud. Many have no fuel or heat to keep them warm, and night-time temperatures are dropping below freezing.

Islamic Relief distributing items.  File image for illustration purposes only.

Islamic Relief distributing items.
File image for illustration purposes only.

Islamic Relief is providing winter relief to refugees in Lebanon. Having assessed what is needed, Islamic Relief plans to help more than 33,000 people in the most vulnerable situations; individuals and families living in refugee camps, makeshift accommodation and unfinished buildings. This winter, we aim to help 6,600 families. Islamic Relief is distributing; fuel gallons, gas heaters, stove heaters, blankets, mattresses, pillows, winter clothes, carpets, plastic sheeting and food parcels.

Nawwar Hamadeh, from Islamic Relief’s Lebanon office, said: “You cannot know what refugees are facing unless you experience their situation. Winter is awful for them; they live in a tent. Water leaks into it, the ground turns wet and muddy, winds blow and snow falls destroying the now battered tents. Children always get sick and most refugees are freezing cold all night. Last winter more than 10 children died as a result of the cold.

“This year we are on the ground before winter approaches, assessing the needs and acting immediately to provide support as much as we can.”

The conflict in Syria is now well into its fourth year. According to UNHCR, 1.1 million people have sought refuge in Lebanon representing the world’s highest per capita concentration of refugees compared to its population. Lebanon is ranked 67 in this year’s Human Development report. UNHCR estimates that there are well over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, while figures from the United Nations suggest that more than a third of Lebanon’s population are refugees.

Islamic Relief has been working in Lebanon since 2006. We have been able to provide healthcare, shelter, food, non-food items (kitchen sets and hygiene kits) and education for people in Lebanon.

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*Images from files for illustration purposes only.