Many Syrian refugees living in Lebanon depend upon humanitarian assistance provided by Islamic Relief.
One in four people in Lebanon are refugees. The small country is home to over 402,000 Palestinian refugees – many of whom have never lived in permanent accommodation and are bringing up the fourth generation of their families in a refugee camp.
More recently, Lebanon has offered a safe haven for Syrians and Palestinians fleeing brutal conflict in neighbouring Syria. At present, there are more than 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees, and 44,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria now living in Lebanon.
Many of the new arrivals face grave difficulties. Forced from their homes in Syria, they faced a hazardous journey to reach the Syrian-Lebanese border. Entering their new lives with little more than the clothes they stood in, some are already destitute. Families that have brought money with them quickly find their savings dwindling to nothing. Most rely on aid from humanitarian organisations such as Islamic Relief simply to survive.
Multi-million pound programme to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Islamic Relief, which has been working in Lebanon since 2006, is helping refugees from Syria as well as poor Lebanese families as the country’s public infrastructure and services strain to cope with the influx.
Since the Syria crisis began, Islamic Relief Lebanon has been increasing its efforts to help those affected – more than doubling the number of projects for refugees in just two years. In 2014 alone, GBP £3.9 million was spent on our emergency programme in Lebanon – reaching nearly 400,000 individuals.
Our emergency programme includes food distributions and food security, shelter and help to access healthcare and education – as well as providing essential items including as blankets and heaters during the harsh winter months.
Supporting vulnerable people
Hana Hasan, who lived in Syria for 26 years before fleeing back to Lebanon, was amongst those we have helped. Struggling to make ends meet, she and her children typically eat just once a day, so the Islamic Relief food parcel she received made a big difference.
“I was happy to see sufficient food for couple of weeks,” she said. “I pray for Islamic Relief donors to have a long life and happy moments.”
Um Mohamed, a grandmother who fled Syria after her children were killed, has relied on support from Islamic Relief since she and her grandchildren arrived in a Lebanese refugee camp. Through our orphan sponsorship programme she receives a regular allowance for one of her grandsons, and has also been provided with food and other essential items. With our help, she recently moved to a building renovated by Islamic Relief for widowed Syrian women and their families.
We have also helped Abo Abdo, who, together with his family, had only boiled grass to eat after they fled their family home in Damascus. Now living in a camp in Lebanon, Islamic Relief supports them with food and has provided hygiene kits as well as blankets and mattresses.
The number of people fleeing Syria continues to rise, and there is no end to the conflict yet in sight. But, Islamic Relief believes that it is not too late for Syria. It is not too late to help. We are determined to expand our work to meet the needs of a growing number of refugees – as well as those struggling to survive inside the war-torn country.
Support our work: Donate to our Syria Crisis Appeal now, and join in the conversation at #4Syria.Donate