As of the end of April 2012, the number of Syrian families displaced in the Bekaa has increased to 2,800 households. Families registered with local partners receive kits of dry food, but they have requested more variety and choice in food items. Given families’ needs, the fact that markets are functioning in the area and that local authorities supported the idea, UNHCR and partners recommended to assess the possibility of implementing food vouchers instead of in-kind distributions.
This mission was undertaken from 19 March to 5 April 2012 to assess the shelter options for displaced Syrians in West and Middle Bakaa. The shelter needs must be evaluated with respect to the current situation. Presently, there is a relatively small-displaced population of approximately 5000 person or 825 families. Half of the displaced Syrian families have taken residence in rental accommodations (50%) and the other half are divided into living in nomadic camps (26%) or hosted with families or living in shelter provided of the local community (24%).
Since the unrest in Syria began in March 2011, the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon has hosted varying numbers of displaced Syrian families. Local actors such as municipalities and NGOs registered families for assistance received through regional and international donors. In March 2012, UNHCR and partners established operations in the Bekaa in order to support local actors with the increasing number of displaced families. By 11 May 2012, there were approximately 9,000 displaced Syrians registered with local actors throughout the Bekaa region.
The human rights situation in the Syrian Arab Republic has deteriorated significantly since November 2011, causing further suffering to the Syrian people. Widespread violence and increasingly aggravated socio-economic conditions have left many communities in a perilous state. Meeting basic needs to sustain everyday life has become increasingly difficult. Many individuals and families have been deeply affected by the events that caused them to leave and are reluctant to return home until the situation stabilizes.
The overall objective of the assessment was to identify emergency WASH needs and gaps of most vulnerable Syrian refugees and host families in five geographical areas, 4 collective centres and Bab al-Tebbaneh, Tripoli in North Lebanon. The specific objectives of the assessment were to measure the (i) quality of water, (ii) quantity and access to water, (iii) sanitation needs, and (iv) need for hygiene promotion.
The current crisis in Syria has been going on for well over a year and the situation remains volatile and is in fact worsening over time. This is highlighted by recent descriptions of the conflict as an actual civil war, the recent assassinations of the Minister of Defence and other top ranking officials and the increased level of violence of the conflict in general terms. These factors suggest it is highly unlikely that the security situation in Syria will be improving enough in the near future as to allow the safe return of the refugees and displaced persons to their homes.
The study shows that Syrian refugees do constitute a burden on hosting households as well as communities. With an average of 7-8 Syrian refugees per receiving household, and with some households receiving some 25 refugees simultaneously, communities lack the means and capacities to provide for increased numbers of refugees.
Syrian women and girls coming to Lebanon are at increased risk of multiple forms of violence due to generalized insecurity and limited access to support. IRC’s rapid GBV assessment highlighted the myriad and severe protection issues women and girls faced before leaving Syria, and since arriving in Lebanon.