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December 9, 2013 marks the 1000th day of war in Syria. Since March 15, 2011, almost three million Syrians have fled to the neighboring countries and 6.5 million Syrians are internally displaced as a result of the ongoing conflict.
The past thousand days have exhausted resources for everyone involved. Displaced families have used up most of their savings while waiting for a resolution. Hosting communities in the region are under pressure as a result of the added burdens to their feeble infrastructure. And perhaps most indicative of the magnitude of the situation, aid organizations are shifting towards a targeted approach to assistance where only the most vulnerable beneficiaries are eligible to receive aid. This is largely due to gaps in funding, paralleled with increasing numbers of refugees regionally - and displaced persons internally in Syria.
“We know that the world’s attention and willingness to support is by far the largest in the most acute phase. Since the civil war in Syria has been on for 1000 days it is expected that the interest is decreasing, but it is of utmost importance that we maintain a focus on Syria – both as long as the war is going on but also when peace is coming at some point. It will be a heavy burden to rebuild the country and ensuring that the Syrian refugees can return,” says Andreas Kamm, secretary general in Danish Refugee Council, one of the largest implementing organizations in the ground in the region, with operations in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Libya assisting more than half a million Syrians each month.
In an attempt to put a face to the numbers, and to share the personal stories of the men, women and children of the crisis, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) presents its first online photography exhibition of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. As the largest implementing organization on the ground in Lebanon, DRC has so far assessed and assisted more than 400,000 displaced Syrians.
The photos are by Leila Alaoui.
This project is funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).