http://almashareq.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_am/features/2019/03/12/feature-01

Refugees |

UAE, Saudi Arabia distribute winter aid in Lebanon

By Nohad Topalian in Beirut

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Saudi Arabia's KSRelief has been distributing winter aid to Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley and northern Lebanon. [Photo courtesy of KSRelief]

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been providing assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon to help them survive the harsh winter season, which has this year included several severe winter storms.

The Gulf states stepped in to help following a decline in assistance provided by international organisations which has led to a shortfall in food and basic goods.

"Nearly nine years after our displacement to Arsal, I felt for the first time how incapable I am of meeting my family’s minimum living requirements," said Jamal al-Mohammed, a Syrian refugee living in a camp in Arsal.

The Winter 2019 UAE Response Campaign for Displaced Syrians has been distributing humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. [Photo courtesy of the UAE Embassy]

Saudi charity KSRelief distributed blankets to Syrian refugees in Lebanon as part of its campaign to deliver aid this winter. [Photo courtesy of KSRelief]

"We are facing a very cold winter, heavy rainstorms and snow, at a time when I cannot provide food and heating supplies for my family of seven children, my wife and my parents," he told Al-Mashareq.

The UAE embassy distributed food rations to his family, he said, as did Saudi Arabia's King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief).

These rations included "cereals such as rice, chickpeas and lentils, milk, sugar and canned food, as well as blankets", al-Mohammed said.

Bar Elias camp resident Fatima al-Yassin told Al-Mashareq the Emirati and Saudi food rations were distributed after "the decline in the aid provided by UN organisations", especially the aid provided through the smart-card programme.

The needs of her family of five children "are growing by the day, and we cannot meet them because my husband, who works as a farmer in the Bekaa Valley, does not work during the winter", she said.

"We receive aid from different sources to hang on and survive until our situation is resolved," al-Yassin added.

Emergency plan launched

KSRelief responded to complaints about the shortage in aid, and in mid-January launched an emergency plan to distribute humanitarian assistance in Lebanon.

In response to an appeal for aid from Syrian refugees in Arsal, KSRelief "acted based on the emergency plan" which outlined winter priorities, KSRelief director in Lebanon Fahad al-Qannas told Al-Mashareq.

"We determined that they need food, so we distributed 15,000 food baskets in the Bekaa governorate, each basket weighing more than 37 kilogrammes," he said.

These included a selection of food items in large enough quantities to last several months and meet the needs of the entire family, he said, adding that 40,000 blankets also were distributed.

The emergency aid campaign "covered all areas in Lebanon, and the aid and blankets were distributed in co-operation with Dar al-Fatwa’s Relief Committee to Syrian refugees in Arsal, Baalbek, Bar Elias, Sidon and Tyre", al-Qannas said.

Refugees in areas as far to the north as Wadi Khaled on the border with Syria benefited from the campaign, he said.

The distribution of aid will continue throughout Lebanon, he noted, and it is expected that an additional 10,000 food baskets will be distributed.

UAE Response Campaign

Food rations are being distributed to refugees in Lebanon via the UAE Embassy as part of the Winter 2019 UAE Response Campaign for Displaced Syrians.

These are being distributed in co-operation with Lebanon's Ministry of State for Displaced Persons Affairs and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The Emirati campaign covers all areas where Syrian refugees are present, particularly in the Bekaa Valley and northern Lebanon, and includes the distribution of food rations to Lebanese citizens in host communities.

Khaled Raad, of the government's Arsal refugees co-ordination committee, said the aid distribution since January has been "good compared to previous years".

Food and fuel rations have been delivered unevenly, however, as "rations varied from one camp to another", he told Al-Mashareq.

Rations were not distributed to refugees living in rented rooms, he said, "even though their situation is just as bad as that of the refugees living in tents".

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21 COMMENT(S)

COMMENT POLICY Captcha
Bubble | 2019-03-17

Unfortunately, we haven't seen anything. Even the UN isn't delivering anything to us, neither food nor assistance. They said we aren't qualified for assistance.

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Bubble | 2019-03-17

May God not forgive those who have stolen!

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Bubble | 2019-03-17

These are lies. We haven't seen anything.

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Bubble | 2019-03-16

I'm in Northern Lebanon. By God, we haven't seen anything.

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Bubble | 2019-03-16

I haven’t seen any assistance in a year. I haven’t been registered with the UN. The employees of the UN are just good at fraud and cheating; they want to have money to get you registered with the UN.

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Bubble | 2019-03-16

We haven’t seen anything. We’re in Beqaa, in Bir Elias. These are all lies. They must be stealing because nobody has seen this.

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Bubble | 2019-03-16

There is nothing.

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Bubble | 2019-03-15

May God make you happy! Nobody is seeing anything here. They would ask you to get registered, but when you go, you receive nothing.

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Bubble | 2019-03-15

We haven’t seen anything here. They’re all stealing and selling what they steal. They just cry and complain and use us to beg. As to us, we aren’t seeing anything.

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Bubble | 2019-03-14

These are all lies. I live in Beqaa.

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Bubble | 2019-03-14

My dear brother, nothing has been distributed. I haven’t seen anything in four years from the Commission. These are all lies; they’re just registering us so they can get numbers and figures to help them beg.

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Bubble | 2019-03-14

We haven't seen anything.

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Bubble | 2019-03-13

These are all lies; we haven’t seen any assistance other than that in the images. I live in al-Marj.

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Bubble | 2019-03-13

By God, we haven't seen any assistance.

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Bubble | 2019-03-13

We haven't seen any assistance.

REPLY
Bubble | 2019-03-13

By God, we haven’t seen anything. These are all lies. I’m a refugee in Camp 12, Hoash Bardi.

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Bubble | 2019-03-13

Thanks!

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Bubble | 2019-03-13

They’re damned liars. I’m in western Beqaa, but I haven’t seen anyone. They’re just lying and publishing stories on our backs.

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Bubble | 2019-03-13

This is a lie; we haven't seen anything.

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Bubble | 2019-03-12

I have a family consisting of 8 members aged between 5 and 19. My 13-year old son, Amr, has a speech and understanding problem. We haven’t seen any assistance or medical care. We’ve complained more than once, but nobody cares. There is no might or power save in God!

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Bubble reply icon | 2019-03-18

God suffices me and He is the best disposer of affairs against every thief!

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