ShelterBox is the first aid agency in the world to distribute tents to Syrian refugees in Lebanon with the permission of the Lebanese Government.
In a complex political environment, ShelterBox is delivering thermally insulated tents to vulnerable families desperately in need through a network of 27 implementing partners that include Scout groups, municipalities and grassroots non-governmental organisations.
‘They’ve been serving the refugee population for two years now, meeting needs based on thorough targeting,’ said ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member Phil Duloy (US/UK) who has just returned to Lebanon. ‘They have also been providing prescription drugs, access to doctors, water, food, even phone cards to help refugees contact family.’
The government has historically been opposed to the setting up of tented settlements and there are major considerations surrounding how they are distributed.
‘We are receiving a great deal of support from the Lebanese government and the local people,’ added Phil. ‘With the help of their comprehensive knowledge we are able to focus on the most needy, particularly those who have not yet received any humanitarian aid. However, here everyone has some sort of trauma and are vulnerable.’
‘We are distributing either to individual families, or to small groups,’ noted SRT member David Webber (UK). ‘Grouped tents will be used as transit shelters whereby newly arriving Syrian families will stay in them for 1-3 days until they locate people they know, such as other family members, to move on to live with. These tents will then be vacated for the next arrivals. Many will be set up in various multi-storey buildings that are half built. They don’t have any exterior walls but do have plumbing.’
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