Aid deliveries to Syrian refugees in South Lebanon started
Lebanon - IOM has started deliveries of aid to some 26,000 Syrian refugees, host communities and Lebanese returnee families in South Lebanon in an operation funded by the government of Japan.
On Friday 21st June it distributed non-food relief (NFI) kits containing hygiene and other essential household items to 1,596 beneficiaries living in three collective shelters in the Sarafand area. IOM has now provided over 100,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon with non-food relief items since the beginning of the Syrian Crisis.
IOM operations were temporarily suspended over the weekend due to fighting on Sunday between the Lebanese army and militia loyal to a local Salafi cleric, Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir, in the port city of Sidon.
As a result of the fighting, access to the southern city of Tyre was cut off. The road has now reopened and IOM operations in the area resumed on Wednesday.
However, with the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon now passing the 520,000 mark, and in the absence of formal refugee camps, living conditions for refugees, Lebanese returnees and host communities alike are deteriorating.
Rents are spiralling and access to adequate health care services, water and sanitation is becoming increasingly problematic.
IOM is working with local municipalities to identify unused public buildings that it can renovate in South of Lebanon to accommodate families currently living in camps or unable to pay the high rents.
IOM plans to launch a mobile team to provide psychosocial support services for displaced Syrian families affected by the on-going conflict, and facilitate mental health referrals as needed. The psychosocial team will organize recreational and community based psychosocial activities while ensuring referral of individuals in need of specialized interventions.
Additionally, IOM is currently working to improve access to health care for refugees, returnees and host communities through supporting the National Tuberculosis Programme under the Ministry of Public Health.
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