This is the third letter we would like to share with you, especially still the good willing to support the refugees from Syria is not enough to minimize their tragedy and suffering… Up to now all what has been provided reflecting a big gap between what is provided and what it should be rights to them. The difficult issue that we don’t believe the reason is shortage of possibilities, but its political decision which tight the hand of the un and international associations who we accustom them to move much and much better than they are doing this time… We should always not to lose the hope to work better and do our best to be capable to achieve together with what it should be done.
A view about the relief work towards the refugees from Syria
Although the bloody war and destruction fights has started in Syria since almost two years, and due to political and security reasons the refugees from Syria were stocked mainly in Akar/North Lebanon and Bekaa Area, East Lebanon, at the borders with Syria
After the level of the battles and the rate of death and destruction in Syria dramatically increased, waves of refuge families start increasing since July 2012 in all areas of Lebanon seeking the safety and protection. The relief work was still concentrated in Bekaa and North areas. The international donors were with no ears to hear the NGO’s voices to see other refugees in other places Just they were asking for data and need assessmentThen the local NGO’s tried to do something which was at random, without follow up or organized procedure, there were many meetings to discuss the refugees’ needs, and necessities and for coordination among the NGO’s, but nothing was in hand
The war has developed almost everywhere in Syria, and Palestinian refugee Yarmouk Camp was het, more Syrian and Palestinian refugees free to Lebanon, mainly to Beirut camps and another areas in the south too. After this extended presence of the refugees with misery conditions in the streets and corners, then we start receiving from the end of September a little of support but not complete to all refugee families There was some excuse that we should give only to Palestinian refugees,,, or just to refugees who are in the camp But for sure that wasn’t wise decision. That has created a kind of division among the refugees which was initiated at first from UNHCR and UNRWA Many of the refugees in Beirut were like a ball thrown in between while they received nothing from both
On other hand, unfortunately in spite of all the meeting for coordination, everybody forgot it just when an organization managed to receive separately some donation
If we could mention here to what the Refugees in Sabra and Shatila camp have received from July to October, it was almost nothing comparing to their conditions, except what the local community people had provided from their own house Many refugee families were hosted by the camp families, or received cloths, mattresses, blankets, food, water etc
In November the refugees issues became a serious, the numbers became beyond of the locals capacity, disorganized donation start coming to the refugees to whom reach first. Such like 25 fans, or 15 refrigerators, or 20 to 50 boxes of food staff. While the families need shelters, food, cloths, mattresses, blankets, medicine, milk to the children and Hygiene or diapers
Thanks to the supporter:
International Red Cross IRC who provide twice food staff and blankets and Mattresses
Iranian embassy the same like IRC
Islamic Zakat Fund.
PLO donate money to the Palestinian families
NPA Food staff, Hygiene kits and mattresses to Palestinian and Syrian families
These donation were in cooperation with the Popular Committee
Fatah with a donor has distributed blankets and mattresses
Hamas Movement distribute food staff, blankets and Mattresses
Najdeh Association from their sources distributes Blankets, Mattresses
Women humanitarian association from it sources distributed food material
UNRWA provide 40 $ for a person and a family coupon 50 $ to Palestinian families.
Also there were some individuals or contributors.
Children & Youth Centre CYC has distributed to Palestinian and Syrian Families what was received from:
– On 26 September-Human Concern International; Kitchen set, Hygiene kits, small Gaz, milk and diapers to 45 families.
– 15 Oct. UNICEF Org. Recreational equipments for the children recreational activities, Hygiene kits to 60 families, diapers to 225 children
– 12 Oct Al Amal Foundation Kanzeh Wa Sonbula, Food material to 75 Families and 50 children sweaters
– 24 Dec.2012 Individual friends, Mrs. Sonja . Mrs. Salma Yasser. Miss. Aja collectively helped with 50$ coupon of cloths to 100 family have children
– 10 January 2013 Doctor without Borders- SMF Belgium provided 5 blankets + Hygiene kit and kitchen to 505 families in Shatila
– 31 January 2013 Doctors Without Borders SMF Belgium 25 families in Nahr El Bared sets plus 275 blankets for emergency cases.
– 31 January Mrs. Sonja 50 $ coupon of cloths to 20 families have children in Nahr El Bared camp
– CYC has and still providing educational support to 35 children refugees from Syria. And to 24 children in Nahr el Bared
– CYC is providing the refugee children equal care and join them with CYC children recreational activities.
Now everybody has realized that the war tragedy in Syria will take a long period before reaching to a solution, after all the destruction and demolishing of houses, hospitals, schools, mosques, churches and infrastructure, the people will need certain period before obtaining the urgent necessities to normal life again That means we have to plan for better social work organization to deal with Syrian and Palestinian needs, especially on the administration level, to organize collectively the data and assessment.
CYC took an initiative with support of MSF to organize a data base concerning the number of refugee families, including the names, males, females, ages, places, kind of living, children, education, health and elderly age, labor force etc.
The aim is to give a card to each refugee family to be recognized by all the NGO’s who work with the refugees,,, and to facilitate the procedures to reach the refugees, that will be computerized and updated in cooperation with all, to build confident relation between the refugees and the supporters based on respect the dignity of the refugees and their human rights. Also to terminate the duplication by having each refugee one address and considered place of reference in Lebanon
CYC has faced problem with the lack information in the several questionnaires were done by the NGO’s and popular committees. That was a result of sincere attention to give the priority to help to the refugee families
So now we are cooperating with the popular committees to complete the data and cooperate all together before any distribution We are looking to this experience to be considered by other locations and camps. That can be if PLO, UNRWA. UNHCR, The Donors and Local NGO’s active in the camps find there is necessity to develop the relief and social work with the refugees from Syria, all the refugees
UNRWA has to cooperate through playing the right role toward the refugees, not only to call for meetings to ask what others are doing. as well as the municipalities should share the service responsibility in the camp where for example in Shatila camp almost 20 % of the population are Lebanese plus the 18% are Syrians before the new refugee families coming to Shatila, which means there is about 38% of population are not direct responsibility of UNRWA
The Palestinian camps considers as UNRWA concern of the health, education and environment services Although UNRWA since years complaining out of shortage in the donation that support its programs, now with the new number of the refugees from Syria, the camp conditions became worse So UNRWA should play better role toward the new refugees, by increasing the number of doctors and nurses who have to treat the new families in the camps, also the environmental workers, cleaners should be increased too because the mountains of garbage is everywhere in the camps and beyond the capacity of the workers That is a threat to the camp people health and education and normal lives, especially soon when the weather become warmer with all kind of insects and viruses and diseases. The same should be with other services.
As long as the Lebanese Government admitted its responsibility to support the Syrian refugees, it means the hundreds of those new refugees families who are staying in the camps should receive equal care like the refugees elsewhere in Lebanon The government should through the concern Municipalities share with UNRWA the responsibility of water, electricity, cleaning the streets and collecting the garbage etc equal to the percentage of non Palestinian
More the donors have to take in consideration not only the emergency is relief with food and hygiene or cover, which is very important, but what about those who are renting and paying high rent without income, or those who are hosted at the poor relatives and friends, soon those will be thrown in the street. So although there is a big wish that the refugees to return tomorrow to peaceful Syria where their homes and properties, but in case this wish didn’t practiced. Somebody has to think about solution to shelter those families and make them settle somewhere instead of moving everyday to somewhere else, which is difficult to the children and deprived many of them to go to school or to feel at ease somewhere
Thanks to everybody who has helped, but still there is no comprehensive strategy of emergency and relieving the refugees The concentration of the donors in Bekaa and Akkar is good, but it’s not enough due political interests not to be equal to all, otherwise that will reflect a kind of discriminate among the refugees
More, the local NGO’s are working hard to help the refugees, that on the expense of their volunteers and staff, they have to do all the administration and logistic work, and running costs which are not considered right now by the donors which put the NGO’s under huge of pressure to manage all tasks they have to do A especial Thanks to the staff and volunteers for their double work and extra efforts to help the refugees. These cost should be covered by the donors
The governments and the big Donors are satisfied that NGO’s are playing their role with minimum cost, but soon we will face those effected people mainly the children and women with deferent social diseases, delinquencies, abuses and exploitations Up to now we don’t have real role toward the traumatized children, as well as to depressed and frustrated mothers Already some cases have succeeded to suicide to put an end to their tragedy.
In short we need a strategy of emergency to tack care, relief and surviving people, protect them in safe places, because that minimum right to obtain them stability Condition.
The urgent call to Western and Arab governments who are so loving to see Syria in better condition, they are paying millions and millions of Dollars, lives, political and military support to both sides fighters in Syria, to think equally support to the victim people who has to go one day to live in the wonderful demolished Syria They should help the refugee children with more than bread and blankets to be able to rebuild their smiles, dreams, ambitions and homes which the war for peace, democracy and freedom has damage it
Mahmoud Abbas- Abu Moujahed
Children & youth Centre CYC