New Zealand support needed for Syrian refugees
Fighting continues in almost every governorate in the country, internally displacing 6.5 million people, and there are now more than 2.2 million refugees. According to the UN, 9.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 3.1 million children. Over 4 million people are in need of food assistance and 480,000 need emergency crop and livelihoods support.
Now severe winter snow storms are making an extremely desperate situation even more desperate. The recent snow is the first sign of the treacherous winter in the region that will only increase suffering for children and their families until March. With more than two million refugees, one million of them children, the humanitarian crisis will worsen in the coming months.
Save the Children is distributing winter kits containing winter clothing, blankets and items to reinforce shelters to help families in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
In Lebanon, refugees living in flimsy tented settlements in the Bekaa valley have found their settlements covered in snow as the brutal winter in Northern Lebanon sets in. Conditions are expected to get worse over the coming months as winter continues and the number of refugees arriving in Lebanon continues to rise.
Save the Children is working around the clock to provide families with adequate shelter and protection from the elements. As winter settles in, it is increasingly important to ensure families have warm clothing, blankets, rugs, fuel and food. Winterised tents are crucial so children remain healthy, have a safe environment to play in, and can continue their education in makeshift schools.
Thousands of schools have been destroyed by the fighting while many more are being used as temporary shelters. School buildings are sparsely furnished and freezing. There is a lack of adequate heating, windows are broken, there are no carpets, and the cold environment is not conducive to learning. Many refugee children have been out of school for months or even years and are now struggling to continue their education. Children are deprived of a safe learning environment and their futures are threatened as they fall behind their peers.
We need to raise $100,000 for a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project for Syrian refugees who have escaped to Tripoli, northern Lebanon. In many cases they have no access to clean water or sanitation. The project aims to improve the health and hygiene of up to 600 vulnerable Syrian refugees by providing:
- latrines with hand washing stations, and/or extending sewage pipelines
- good drainage in settlements
- solid waste collection and disposal in settlements.
This project is crucial for helping to reduce the impact and spread of disease.
What is Save the Children doing for other refugees?
Save the Children is on the ground across the region. We are providing refugees with basics, like food, clothing, shelter and education for children and families who are facing extremely difficult conditions.
We’re helping support children to deal with the horrific experiences they have been through. Our teams are working flat out to help meet some of the most critical needs of children and infants, but we cannot scale up our efforts to meet the growing need without additional funding.