Families forced to flee their homes due to attacks near the Lebanon-Israel border are receiving meals and other humanitarian aid with the support of Alliance2015 member Concern Worldwide.
The Irish humanitarian organisation is partnering with local non-government organisation Nusaned using Irish government funding to feed up to 1,000 families in southern Lebanon.
The families are sheltering in four schools and a university in the ancient coastal town of Tyre after their homes came under fire.
“In response to the recent shelling in south Lebanon, we launched a critical emergency response in Tyre,” Concern’s Country Director in Lebanon, Sherzada Khan, said.
“Around 80,000 people, forced to flee their homes due to ongoing conflict, now find themselves displaced and living in shelters without access to basic necessities”.
“With Irish Aid funding, we are addressing the pressing needs of internally displaced people, including many children and elderly people.”
The aid workers are providing displaced families with three meals a day in addition to other needs like clean drinking water, mattresses, pillows, blankets and nappies.
Lebanese families are receiving the meals in school classrooms where they sleep each night as they shelter from conflict. They said they hope for peace and being able to return to their homes.
Hussein Ali Ez Al Deen (42), who fled from his hometown on the border with Israel with his wife and three children, said: “We can’t thank you enough for this act of help and I hope that the war ends so we can go back to our home.”
“I miss my home and I miss sleeping in my own bed,” added 18-year-old Lilia Mohamad Al Moussa, displaced with her parents and two younger sisters.
“We may have lost everything, but we refuse to lose hope,” said Ali Mahmood Hasan Saa (62).
Nusaned said the project they run delivers sandwiches and meals each day to the school buildings where the displaced people are sheltering. Each classroom accommodates two families, with room dividers used to separate the rooms and provide some privacy.
Concern began working in Lebanon in 2013 in response to the arrival of many refugees from Syria. It is currently responding to the needs of Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian people living in the north of the country where temperatures plummet at this time of year.
Concern is working to alleviate suffering for both refugees and over-stretched host communities by providing shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene awareness, livelihoods, education, and protection activities. Every programme includes the cross-cutting themes of protection, equality and inclusion.
Lebanon has been host to Palestinian refugees since 1948, with an estimated 250,000 Palestinian refugees currently living in Lebanon. A further 1.5 million Syrian refugees are also living in Lebanon, which has a population of 5.2 million. This makes it the world’s biggest host of refugees per capita.