Medair Helping Syrian Refugees Face Demolition in Arsal
Lausanne, 11 June 2019 – Emergency relief and recovery organisation Medair is delivering humanitarian aid to Syrian refugee families whose shelters will be partly or completely demolished. This action is in response to a decision to remove semi-permanent structures inside informal tented settlements in Arsal, northeastern Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.
In April 2019, a decision was made to demolish concrete structures inside informal settlements in Arsal, an area close to the northeastern border of Lebanon with Syria.
According to the UN Refugee Agency and international aid groups, this decision puts at least 25,000 Syrian refugees, including 15,000 children, at the risk of losing their homes.
Since 2 June 2019, Medair emergency response team has assessed more than 500 shelters and distributed almost 300 shelter kits to families in need of support.
“Our team works in synergy; the team starts needs assessments, then we immediately distribute timber logs and plastic sheets to the families who had to demolish the concrete parts of their shelters,” says Ali, Medair Distribution Manager. “Our immediate response and close coordination with the Lebanese authorities, local community, and Syrian refugee families makes the situation manageable and feasible.”
Medair will continue assessing needs in the coming weeks to assure that all families find their way through this transition with dignity and hope.
“Families have worked hard to upgrade their small tent shelters, making them comfortable and adding small touches that make them home,” says Simon Bird, Medair Shelter Advisor. “Now they must remove concrete block walls, with the disruption that entails, and start much of this again.”
It has been eight years since the Syrian crisis began. Syrian refugees are still prone to major life insecurities.
In Amman, Jordan: Lucy Bamforth, Middle East Regional Communications Manager (English, French)
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At Global Support Office in Switzerland: Paola Barioli, Press and Media Officer (Italian, French, English) Paola.Barioli@medair.org +41 78 635 30 95