Bassam Shebab and his family fled the embattled Syrian city of Homs a month ago. Bassam was smuggled over the border in the north of Lebanon whilst his family crossed at the Bekaa Valley. He, along with his wife and five young children, have been sharing a makeshift shelter with his brother, sister-in-law and their two children, waiting for the fighting to stop to enable them to return home.
This family is not the only one waiting for the conflict to end in their home country. One million is the number of people who no longer sleep under their own roofs, wondering when they can return home, that is, if their home is still standing when that time comes.
One million is the number of Syrians that have fled to countries like Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to escape from almost two years of violence and civil war at home, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Figures show that half of the refugees are children, most of them aged 11 or under.
ShelterBox Response Teams (SRTs) are at work now in Syria’s neighbouring countries Lebanon and Jordan, and ShelterBox is considering a return to Iraq Kurdistan, and will look at further opportunities to deliver aid into Syria itself.
In Lebanon, the smallest of Syria’s surrounding countries, the influx of refugees has swollen the population by ten per cent. SRTs are now delivering winterised ShelterBoxes in discrete micro distributions with various implementing partners to Syrian refugee families, like Bassam Shebab’s.
‘Never feel like home’
‘We will be so much more comfortable in the tent,’ said Bassam, relieved to be out of such cramped conditions. ‘It will never feel like home but we thank ShelterBox for helping us.’
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