- Published on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 10:04
ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) announced on Tuesday, a third grant from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to implement a four-month emergency program in the Sidon area of Lebanon for Palestinian refugees from Syria.
The relief project will focus on the basic needs of Palestinian refugees from Syria during the cold winter months. ANERA is partnering with the community-based association Najdeh to distribute basic supplies for 2,300 refugee families from Syria (8,000 individuals) and their host families in Ein El Helweh and Mieh Mieh refugee camps and nearby gatherings.
The winter supplies include 5,500 quilts, 4,600 blankets, 460 gas heaters and fuel for three months, 2,300 emergency lighting lamps, 2,750 family hygiene kits, winter clothing for 900 children under five, as well as health education and winter illness educational sessions for 2,700 families.
ANERA was one of the first international organizations to survey and respond to the needs of Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Previous grants from OCHA enabled ANERA to implement emergency relief campaigns in several refugee camps and gatherings in Tyre and Beirut.
The latest survey of refugee needs reveals that one out of two families lack heating in their dwelling, three out of four families do not have enough blankets for all family members and nine out of 10 families do not have sufficient winter clothing.
Aware that women are among the most vulnerable refugees, ANERA health program manager Dima Zayat said ANERA's programs give special attention to their needs: "As women focus on their family's well-being, they often forget about their own specific needs. Many have taken charge of their families and live in difficult conditions because they have lost their husbands or their husbands stayed behind in Syria."
Ms. Zayat added women refugees face even greater challenges. "ANERA supports women by giving them tools to help them care for their families and preserve their dignity." The distribution therefore includes 2,300 winterized dignity kits containing warm traditional clothes, underwear, and flashlights allowing women to feel safer, stay warm during winter, and meet cultural expectations.
It's worth mentioning that OCHA is a UN agency responsible for coordinating effective humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies.