The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) announced earlier this week that the number of Syrian refugees seeking shelter and safety in neighbouring countries had passed the 1,000,000 mark. A daunting milestone for the plethora of government and non-government agencies, charities and local groups trying to house, feed and provide medical care for those fleeing their war-torn country.
Shelterbox has been working for several months to bring Shelter, Warmth and Dignity to Syrian refugees in Iraq Kurdistan; Jordan and, most recently Lebanon. Working with a network of 27 local Implementing Partners (IPs), ShelterBox has been the first agency to erect relief tents with the permission of the Lebanese Government.
Abo Ahmed and his family are from the Moaadamia district of Damascus. They fled Syria 7 months ago and sought refuge in the town of Job Jannine in the Bekaa Valley. Their home has been completely destroyed. At first they shared a single room with Ahmed’s cousin and his family, 20 people sleeping in the one room. A second room was cobbled together from borrowed building materials, concrete blocks, stacked onto of each other with no mortar. It was cold and leaked when it rained. Working through a local charity, ShelterBox was able to provide Ahmed and his family with a winterised tent, thermal blankets and other essential items.
Both Ahmed’s wife and that of his cousin are pregnant and he is thrilled with his new tent, “Shukran, shukran, shukran (thank you) from my heart”.
There are reported to be 5,000 refugees in Job Janine alone.
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