Meeting urgent needs of new Syrian refugees

Lebanon, Syria

February 7, 2014

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Karim Kassem for Mercy Corps  </span>
    For Syrian refugee families who have left everything behind, items like mattresses and blankets are critical to helping them settle into their new surroundings. Last month we distributed essential items to new refugees in southern Lebanon, with support from ECHO. Photo: Karim Kassem for Mercy Corps

Last month, in partnership with local relief organization SHIELD, we distributed essential supplies to 75 newly-arrived Syrian refugee families in the Jezzine District in Nabatieh Governorate in southern Lebanon, an area on the Syrian border where many Syrians have recently sought refuge from the country’s ongoing civil war.

This distribution was part of a larger six-month project to provide vital assistance to 5,000 new Syrian refugees and 2,500 vulnerable Lebanese people affected by the crisis, made possible with support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO).

This latest distribution focused on reaching new arrivals — families who had been in Lebanon for less than two weeks. They received items to meet their most basic needs, including mattresses, blankets and cooking supplies like plates, pots and a stove. They also received hygiene items like towels, shampoo and toilet paper, and baby supplies including diapers and soap.

Most refugee families in the Jezzine District arrive empty-handed, forced to leave all their belongings behind. After abandoning their homes, many of them now live in tented settlements made of plastic sheeting or collective shelters — shared spaces in unfinished concrete buildings — that lack adequate toilets or walls for privacy.

The items provided in the distribution help meet their urgent needs and provide some relief as they settle into their new surroundings.

Watch the video the Lebanon team created to show how the distribution was done:

We remain committed to meeting the urgent, growing needs of Syrian refugees and their host communities for the long term. Our ongoing response in Lebanon includes keeping families warm this winter, improving hygiene in crowded refugee settlements, protecting vulnerable children and helping refugees integrate safely into their host communities.

How you can help

  • Donate today. Every single contribution helps us provide even more food, water, shelter and support to Syrian families in desperate need of help.
  • Start a campaign. You can turn knowledge into action by setting up a personal fundraising page and asking your friends and family to contribute to our efforts to help Syrian refugees.
  • Stay informed. Read more stories about our work and those we are helping on our Syria crisis response page. You can also learn more about our focus on protecting Syria’s children.