Published: Jun 8, 2012
By James Addis
Refugees flee bloodshed in Syria
©2012 Patricia Mouamar/World Vision
Refugees from Syria receive hygiene kits in Lebanon.
Ongoing violence in Syria has led to a growing refugee population in Lebanon as desperate families seek to escape the bloodshed.

The UNHCR estimates 24,000 refugees are currently being assisted in Lebanon, of whom more than 9,000 live in the Bekaa valley.

Patricia Mouamar, World Vision’s communications manager in Lebanon, says displaced families are mostly residing with Lebanese host families or renting modest accommodations.

World Vision is currently assisting refugees with hygiene kits in Bekaa and plans to provide food vouchers and establish four Child-Friendly Spaces — safe areas where children can enjoy fun activities and learn to cope from emotional upheaval.

Patricia says World Vision has been active in Bekaa for 10 years, addressing local health and education needs, and has strong relationships with community leaders.

World Vision calls on all parties in the Syrian conflict to respect human rights and ensure emergency and humanitarian aid can be provided without obstruction.

Patricia says the organization is especially concerned about the condition of children trapped in Syria and exposed to further violence.

The crisis in Syria began in March 2011.
United Nations officials say more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have died, and tens of thousands have been uprooted since the uprising began.

Some of the worst violence has occurred in Houla region, close to Lebanon’s northern border. Last month, more than 100 people were massacred, including more than 40 children under the age of 10.

With reporting by Patricia Mouamar, World Vision’s communications manager in Lebanon.

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