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DRC responds rapidly to mass influx of refugees in Lebanon mountain town

Source: Danish Refugee Council (DRC) - Denmark - Tue, 3 Dec 2013 02:36 PM
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Approximately 20,000 Syrian refugees have made their way into one small town in North Bekaa, Lebanon since November 15, 2013. The Danish Refugee Council activated its emergency plan and within 48 hours had shifted more than 100 staff to the area to assist the newcomers.

Almost 4,000 Syrian refugee families – or approximately 20,000 individuals - have crossed the border into Lebanon since November 15, 2013.  During the first ten days of influx, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) assessed 90 % of the new arrivals and assisted 80 % of them with food parcels, hygiene kits, baby kits, mattresses, blankets and kitchen sets.

“DRC was able to rapidly deploy a team of more than 100 staff members from different sectors and areas and together with other organizations and the local municipality, we have been able to establish a reception system for the newcomers,” says Olivier Beucher, Lebanon Country Director for DRC.

Support has included pre-registration, monitoring and referral of people with specific needs, social worker interventions and rapid distribution.  The next step will be for UNHCR to arrange for registration of these new refugees to give them access to the full range of support offered by the international humanitarian community.

“We aim to provide a comprehensive assistance package to beneficiaries. While we are distributing mattresses, blankets, food and hygiene kits, our protection and social workers are helping identify people with specific vulnerabilities to offer the appropriate psychosocial assistance.” says Olivier Beucher.

DRC’s rapid deployment to the field in North Bekaa was enabled by a contingency plan put in place to respond to any sudden influx of refugees. The plan includes the deployment of staff and contingency warehouse stock to support the assessment of and assistance to newly arriving refugees.

“DRC mobilized existing stock from other regions, and coordinated mobilization of additional resources from partners and donor organisations to ensure the support provided was adequate,” explains Olivier Beucher.

DRC is operational inside Syria and in all receiving neighboring countries; Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Libya and Lebanon assisting more than half a million refugees and displaced every month.

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