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Lebanon: 90% of Syria refugees need humanitarian aid to survive

December 17, 2022 at 9:55 am

Refugees are seen in a camp in Lebanon on 3 January 2021 [Mahmut Geldi/Anadolu Agency]

Ninety per cent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon need humanitarian assistance to survive during the worst economic crisis the country has witnessed in decades, according to announcements made by international organisations on Friday.

A joint statement was issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCR), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in which they called for the continuation of support and protection for the neediest families in Lebanon.

The statement read: “The preliminary findings of the 2022 Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (VASyR) released today show a continuing sharp decline in living conditions for all Syrian refugees, with even the most basic needs being out of reach for most.”

The statement noted that 90 per cent of Syrian refugee families need humanitarian assistance to survive, reported Anadolu Agency.

According to Abdallah Alwardat, WFP representative and country director in Lebanon: “The levels of food security for refugees in Lebanon are extremely worrisome. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, WFP is supporting one in every three people in the country. We are providing cash assistance, food parcels and school snacks and supporting livelihood activities across Lebanon.”

READ: Lebanon says 551 refugees returned to Syria

The representative of the Office of the UNHCR in Lebanon, Ayaki Ito, shared: “Despite the price of essential items and services skyrocketing by over 700 per cent since June 2020, families in Lebanon still earn less while having to pay much more for the most basic goods.”

VASyR revealed that Syrian refugees in Lebanon are cutting down on meals. The assessment also disclosed that most refugee families had accumulated debt as most borrow money to buy food, noting that about 87 per cent of families rated food as their main priority, followed by housing and healthcare.

It showed that only 60 per cent of Syrian refugee children between the ages of 6 and 14 attended school regularly in 2022, with attendance dropping to less than 8 per cent for older adolescents at the secondary level.

The assessment also indicated that children’s nutritional health is at risk, as less than half of all infants under the age of five months are exclusively breastfed, and only 11 per cent of children eat the minimum number of meals and food groups per day.

It pointed out that six out of every ten Syrian refugee children are subjected to violent disciplinary methods.

According to official estimates, the number of Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon is about 1.5 million, and most suffer difficult living conditions, especially with the growing economic crisis in the country.

READ: Amnesty International urges Lebanon to stop involuntary return of Syria refugees