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With Humanitarian Aid and Civil protection (ECHO) as a main donor, Danish Refugee Council is providing the first assistance to 25,000 Syrian refugees crossing the border to Lebanon every month. The refugees are drained and out of resources after several displacements. They need food, blankets, mattresses and, with winter approaching, fuel and heaters.
The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is the first organization to make contact with one third of the 75.000 refugees arriving in Lebanon every month. With Syrian refugees dispersed across large geographical areas in Lebanon, DRC depends on a network of focal contacts within the local communities to notify it of any newly arrived families.
“In a complex displacement scenario like the one in Lebanon it is vital to target the most vulnerable refugees and to do it rapidly and efficiently – the arriving refugees are exhausted after a series of displacements and have little to no belongings or money,” says Olivier Beucher, Country Director for DRC in Lebanon. “Our partnership with ECHO has made it possible for us to get a team out to newly arrived refugees in just a few days after their arrival to assess their needs and provide emergency aid and other needed assistance.”
The emergency aid combines food and non-food items in the form of blankets, mattresses, baby kits, kitchen equipment and some cash assistance to empower refugees and allow them to prioritize their own needs. Legal and medical problems are also identified and referred to local organizations and specialized agencies with the capacity to assist. Finally, heaters and fuel will become part of the emergency assistance as part of the strategy for the coming winter.
“Syrian refugees in Lebanon have lost relatives, homes and belongings and they share the difficulties of finding a place to sleep and provide for their families. But no two cases are the same and we have to assess each situation to provide the proper assistance. The assessments and the direct contact with the refugees immediately upon arrival is the basis of all future assistance,“ says Beucher.
DRC is currently providing emergency aid to half a million Syrian refugees in the region every month – 300.000 of those in Lebanon alone. DRC is operational in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and Libya. ECHO, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, DANIDA, BPRM and SDC is funding DRC activities throughout the region.