Charity helps Syrians and Palestinians through a deadly winter storm
A fierce winter storm is battering parts of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestine, bringing even more misery to millions displaced by war.
Already, a Syrian man and a six year old boy have died trying to cross the mountainous border from Syria into Lebanon, while hundreds of thousands of refugees are trying to survive in abandoned buildings and leaking makeshift tents and plastic sheets.
In Lebanon, families have been desperately trying to sweep snow from their tent roofs to stop them from collapsing. Children are hungry and huddling around wood burning stoves to keep warm. Many must wade through pools of freezing cold dirty water in the camps wearing only sandals and flip-flops. In Palestine, an eight month old baby has died in a fire caused by a heater in the Tulkarem refugee camp.
Othman Moqbel, CEO of Human Appeal, said: “It is vital we protect the vulnerable from the harsh weather conditions. Syrians and Palestinians are already in a miserable situation and the terrible weather has doubled their suffering. We are seeing no hope of an end to the situation. Tents have been destroyed, people are dying and we will have the same situation next winter if the international community does not do more.”
Human Appeal is part of a global effort by smaller agencies to fill the gap being left by a downturn in aid from overstretched global charities and NGOs.
The charity is running a winter appeal focusing on families displaced within Syria, as well as refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. There are currently 1.1 million registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon and over 620,000 in Jordan, according to the UN. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to the sub-zero temperatures, which expose them to life-threatening illnesses such as pneumonia and hypothermia.
This year’s winter campaign is also focused on the tens of thousands of families within Gaza who were made homeless following the 50 day war in 2014.
The winter packs include mattresses, blankets, heating oil and winter clothing, such as hats and gloves, as well as food parcels.
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