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Mobilization Restricts Movement of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Mobilization Restricts Movement of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Sunday, 12 April, 2020 - 11:45
Children in one of the Syrian refugee camps in the Beqaa region, Lebanon (EPA)
Beqaa (Eastern Lebanon)- Hussein Darwish

Six weeks have passed since the last visit by UN delegations and international and humanitarian agencies to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon’s camps, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This has led to scarcity of aid provided to these refugees, including water, home services, and hygiene kits, threatening their health and increasing the possibility of an outbreak in camps.

It has also negatively affected the social services and health benefits provided to the displaced Syrians.

The displaced complained about the delay in financial and food aid and fuel allowances that were allocated for each family every month.

They said the LBP40,500 ($27) allocated to each family have lost their value due to the economic crisis in the country, and refugees can no longer buy what they deem necessary.

According to Hamid, one of the refugees in a camp in the Beqaa Valley, the value of the share per person was $30 in 2014, and in 2015 it was reduced to $27.

“The drop in the value of the Lebanese pound has worsened the living situation in light of the quarantine and curfew imposed by the government,” Hamid stressed.

Another Syrian refugee, Ali Diab, expressed appreciation for Taybeh village’s municipality for spraying disinfectants in the camp, yet he said this was not enough.

“We have been in isolation for more than two months now. Our work has been suspended, the United Nations has not visited us since then, and the security forces prevent us from leaving the camp.”

Hassan Khalaf, for his part, said the LBP260,000- worth ration card used to be enough before the currency collapse, noting that it is barely sufficient for one week now.

He pointed out that there is a lack of supplies such as masks, gloves, disinfectants, and soaps in camps, which threatens refugees in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is working on a response plan for the coronavirus outbreak, its spokesperson, Lisa Abou Khaled, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Abou Khaled pointed out that the cash aid remains the same, adding that the UNHCR is working to increase aid to families of displaced Syrians and increase the number of beneficiaries in line with the new situation.

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