URGENT: Syrian refugees in Lebanon need your support!
As we welcomed the new year, thousands of Syrian refugees were once again displaced after a heavy winter storm struck Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. At least 151 informal camps were directly affected by the storm that hit Saturday, which is home to more than 11,000 people. According to the UNHCR, another 850 makeshift camps are at risk of being damaged, possibly affected another 70,000 individuals.
Lebanon is currently home to 1.5 million Syrian refugees, most of which are living in makeshift camps, as the Lebanese government forbids formal refugee camps. Photos of snow covered tents, flooded camps, and families shoveling mud have gone viral, stirring outrage among humanitarians and activists. Harsh weather conditions are not unexpected in Lebanon, in fact, for years, the camps have experienced heavy snow and rainfall, causing flooding and forced displacement – also leading to severe health conditions. This winter was especially difficult for refugees, who are living in flimsy tents made out of metal scrap and plastic, as temperatures dropped below freezing.
We urge you to directly support humanitarian organizations on the ground like Basmeh & Zeitooneh. They are distributing plastic sheets for damaged tents, mattresses, rubber boots, and critical winter aid, including heaters and blankets. Basmeh & Zeitooneh are currently raising funds to provide families with critical winter aid items and also rent a space to host families that were forced to evacuate. You can support their efforts by donating below.