AMEL response to urgent needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon
The continuing unrest in Syria is resulting in a growing influx of Syrian refugees to Lebanon. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has registered over 57,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon (September 7, 2012) while many refugees are awaiting registration. Many Syrian refugees in Lebanon have found shelter with family members or through migration networks. Both Syrian refugees and Lebanese communities face increasing needs in childcare and education, medical and psychological care and daily basic commodities. In response to the developing humanitarian crisis, Amel Association International launched a humanitarian appeal in March 2012 for funding of an emergency program. With the support of local and international organizations, and in coordination with UNHCR, the Lebanese Ministries of Health and Social Affairs, Amel is currently providing medical support (such as free primary health consultations and medicines), child protection (such as remedial classes) and emergency supplies (such as food and hygiene kits) to more than 3000 beneficiaries. All services are provided through Amel community centers in the Bekaa, namely in El Ain, Ersal, Kamed el Loz and Mashgharah. With 30 years of expertise, Amel’s strength relies in its non-sectarian background and humanitarian motives of action. Moreover, Amel is capable of mobilizing a network of experience and dedicated local staff and has the facilities in place to respond to emergency situations. Since the end of July, Amel has started preparations for an expansion of the Emergency Program, following the sharp increase of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Amel aims to increase the scope of assistance by enlarging the covered areas to all of Lebanon, through its 23 centers in South Beirut, South Lebanon and the Bekaa, and scale up the number of beneficiaries to 10 000 Syrian refugees. As many Syrian refugees live in remote areas, Amel will not only provide services from its community centers but also through mobile clinics and active outreach by social workers.