Since Syria’s Arab Spring events began in March 2011, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that the death toll has surpassed 21,000 people, mostly civilians, who have been killed in unrelenting violence in certain areas of the country1. As a result, many Syrians have fled to the neighboring countries of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq with 227,273 individuals registered by the UNHCR as of September 28, with 56,225 in Lebanon2. This number for Lebanon does not take into account the additional 21,3043 Syrian refugees that have contacted UNHCR and are awaiting registration, nor the refugees across the country who have not yet registered either due to lack of access or fear. To date, the UNHCR has not yet been able to reach all the pockets of refugees in the country, so many needs remain unmet. Moreover, the numbers of refugees are on the rise at a rapid rate, with approximately 400 people arriving per
week in North Lebanon alone4.
Since the refugee crisis began in Lebanon during the late spring 2011, UNHCR and its partners have been active in working swiftly and diligently to meet the needs of vulnerable Syrian refugees arriving to Lebanon. This includes working with other U.N. agencies, the Government of Lebanon (GOL), international NGO (INGOs) and local NGOs (LNGOs) to provide assistance in the sectors of shelter, health, protection, education, livelihoods, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Of these sectors, WASH is among the areas where a significant amount of needs remain unaddressed and the existing information remains sparse. In refugee situations such as this, one important risk to refugee and host communities is a threat to public health, resulting from poor hygiene practices and due to overloaded sanitation systems, which could easily lead to an increase in morbidity and mortality and to a spread of water borne diseases and epidemics. Therefore, CISP-RI believes it is crucial to respond to the growing emergency needs related to WASH.

Relief International
Publishing Date: 
Tuesday, 1 January 2013
Resource Type: 
Studies and Reports
Water Sanitation & Hygiene