World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Syrian refugee families vulnerable to winter storm

Bekaa Valley, LEBANON (December 11, 2013) — As the largest winter storm in years threatens Lebanon, World Vision is stepping up its preparations throughout the region to keep Syrian refugees safe from below-freezing temperatures and snow. More than 2.2 million people have fled to neighboring countries to escape the violence. Many are living in tented settlements, camps or poorly-equipped apartments that offer little protection from the cold. Within Syria, many of the 6.5 million internally displaced are facing similar challenges.

Health workers inside Syria are reporting an increase in respiratory diseases among children as temperatures dip. World Vision and other aid agencies are striving to reach as many people as possible with the resources they have, but with the sheer scope and scale of the crisis, the need remains immense.

As one Syrian father in Jordan explained, “We left Syria because our house was destroyed in the conflict and we were scared for our children. And now we’re scared of the cold. Perhaps it’s better to be killed by someone than to watch your children die of the cold.” Their home has no heating and no hot water.

“For months we have been concerned about the dire consequences of the approaching winter on these vulnerable families, and we’ve been working to protect as many people as we can. Now there’s little time more for preparations or warnings. For Syrian refugees, time has run out, and winter is here,” said Joe Harbison, World Vision’s response director for the Syria crisis.

In Za’atari Camp in Jordan and in many of the makeshift settlements in Lebanon, flooding is already a significant problem, adding to the freezing temperatures.

World Vision is responding in the region to make sure families don’t have to fear the cold:

• In Lebanon, approximately 25,000 families are receiving blankets and cash vouchers to purchase stoves and fuel

• In Jordan, World Vision is providing coats to 30,118 children aged 2-12 in Za’atari Camp and working to fix drainage problems in the camp that caused severe flooding last winter.

• In Syria, World Vision is providing 2,000 winter kits filled with blankets, tarps, rubber boots, socks and winter hats.

“Speaking with families, we know the fear that winter brings. I’ve seen far too many children with little more than sandals and short sleeves, even as winter approaches,” said Conny Lenneberg, World Vision’s head of programs for the Middle East. “We are working hard to ensure that we reach as many of the most vulnerable as we possibly can, so they get the protection they need, no matter the weather.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Whaling: Japan’s Institute for Cetacean Research In Defiance Of World Court Ruling

The ICR Today Filed Court Briefs Stating They Intend to Return to Antarctica to Hunt Whales in 2015-2016; Will Seek to Enjoin Other Sea Shepherd Entities from Obstructing Their Operations More>>

Ukraine: UN Urges 'Maximum Restraint' Amid Situation In East Ukraine

Deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for maximum restraint and appealed to all sides to work towards calming the situation, which has the 'growing potential' to ... More>>

United Nations: Children Can Now Lodge Complaints With The UN

GENEVA (14 April 2014) – United Nations child rights experts have hailed a new treaty that allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights. More>>

India: Election But A Ritual In Nation Lacking Rule Of Law

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) congratulates the people of India for their participation to elect the 16th Lok Sabha. The process has attracted, as usual, considerable media attention across the world. Media claims the process to be 'the largest democratic ... More>>

Solomon Islands: Thousands Remain Affected After Flash Floods

An estimated 52,000 people remain affected in the worst-hit areas of Honiara and greater Guadalcanal following last week’s devastating floods which killed at least 23 people. More>>


World: Some 437,000 People Murdered Worldwide In 2012 - UN

Almost half a million people across the world lost their lives in 2012 as a result of intentional homicide, with the highest murder rates logged in the Americas and Africa, and the lowest in Europe, Asia and Oceania, the United Nations Office on ... More>>

Central African Republic:: Security Council Establishes UN Peacekeeping Mission

Deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation and ongoing human rights abuses in the Central African Republic (CAR), the Security Council today approved the establishment of a nearly 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping operation ... More>>


Parliament: NZ Sending Aid Flight To Solomons

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has announced further support for the response to severe flooding in Solomon Islands. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news