Since the beginning of the Syria crisis, more than 1 million people have sought refuge in neighbouring Lebanon. In search of shelter, basic services and safety from the fighting, they are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, even five years after the outbreak of the conflict. However, the Lebanese Red Cross needs international support in order to provide this assistance.
In addition to Turkey and Jordan, Lebanon is also one of the neighbouring countries where Syrian refugees seek safety from the hostilities. However, in contrast to the reception camps of the other neighbouring countries, there are no official refugee camps in Lebanon.
Instead, several hundred thousand refugees are living ininformal settlements, especially in the Bekaa Valley, in improvised simple shelters, tents and huts. Others are staying with families, friends and host families.
The GRC supports Emergency Medical Services (EMS) stations
The GRC supports 22 EMS stations of the Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) in the whole of Lebanon, including one station in the Bekaa Valley in Ras Baalbeck-just a few kilometres from the Syrian border. This temporary EMS station looks after the medical care of the Syrian refugees in the north of the Bekaa Valley as well as after the medical care of the Lebanese host population.
The German Red Cross is financing the medical teams of the LRC as well as medical consumables, medication and equipment, such as ambulances, and running costs. For example in Ras Baalbeck two teams with five Lebanese medical doctors/paramedics and three ambulances are working. Overall, GRC is supporting more than 50% of the entire emergency system in Lebanon.
Establishment of the blood bank system
GRC is also supporting the Lebanese Red Cross in establishing and modernizing its blood bank system. The demand for blood bottles has considerably increased since the beginning of the crisis. They are provided for Lebanese host community as well as for Syrian refugees. GRC is financing necessary materials and equipment to store the blood as well as staff. The projects of the GRC are funded by funds from the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and by donations.
GRC is supporting the Lebanese Red Cross in providing vital relief supplies for Syrian refugees and for the affected Lebanese population. For this purpose a dedicated department for disaster management has been established within the Lebanese Red Cross, which is significantly co-sponsored by the GRC on continuous basis. 1 000 families receive food assistance and hygiene articles each month via this department. In addition, 700 families are receiving vouchers during the winter months, in order to purchase heating material.