Winter comes again…


The conflict in Syria is now in its fifth year. Over a million people have sought refuge in Lebanon’s borders. Lebanon in itself is representing the world’s highest per ca-pita concentration of refugees compared to its population according to UNHCR. Whilst figures from the United Nations suggest that more than a third of Lebanon’s population are refugees.

In this destitute situation more than four million people have escaped from conflict-torn Syria. Their living conditions are makeshift tents raised by the NGOs that are on the location. Building materials, food & medicines are brought in from all over the area. Refugees are often not permitted to work and have no means of supporting themselves. It comes down to the dependent on international aid.

Winter is fast approaching. In all this turmoil one of their harrowing concerns is now surviving winter. Living in feeble tents with only a plastic sheet covering the ground, they struggle to maintain hygiene in the cold wet weather when the ground becomes soft and turns to mud. Many have no fuel or heat to keep them warm. When the night falls the temperatures drops below freezing.

It becomes a matter of survival from the unforgiving elements. Already food is scarce and rationed. Heating equipment is heavily sought after. Basic winter clothing is difficult to acquire and as winter push through the bitter cold sets in. Our natural response is to cover oneself but in reality they barely have the clothes on them. The children comes first but all the families are affected. With pitiable dwelling protection from the climate winters leads to death. Sadly it’s the reality in this camps.

You cannot know what refugees are facing unless you experience their situation. Winter is awful for them; they live in a tent. Water leaks into it, the ground turns wet and muddy, winds blow and snowfalls destroying the now battered tents. Children always get sick and most refugees are freezing cold all night. Last winter more than 10 children died as a result of the cold

-Nawwar Hamadeh, IR Lebanon

Islamic Relief is providing winter relief to the refugees in Lebanon. Having evaluated what is needed from the last years, Islamic Relief plans to help more than 33,000 people in the most vulnerable situations; individuals and families living in refugee camps, makeshift accommodation and unfinished buildings.

This winter, we aim to help 6,600 families. Islamic Relief is distributing; fuel gallons, gas heaters, stove heaters, blankets, mattresses, pillows, winter clothes, carpets, plastic sheeting and food parcels.

 “This year we are on the ground before winter approaches, assessing the needs and acting immediately to provide support as much as we can.”

-Nawwar Hamadeh, IR Lebanon

Islamic Relief has been working in Lebanon since 2006. It’s close to 10 years now. We have been able to provide healthcare, shelter, food, non-food items and above all education for people in Lebanon.