Winter Grips Syrian and Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

The winter is a disaster for Lebanon's 200,000 Syrian and Palestinian refugees. The cold caused by freezing temperatures, combined with hunger due to high food prices, adorn the days of the refugees.

Bekaa, Lebanon.
Bekaa, Lebanon, is home to Syrian refugees. (Doc. Richard Hall)

ACTNews, BEKAA – Winter is a tough season for the 200 thousand Syrian and Palestinian refugees who live in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley region. The freezing temperatures caused the refugees to shiver. Compared to other parts of Lebanon, winter temperatures in Bekaa are the lowest.

Firdaus Guritno of the GHR-ACT team explained that Bekaa was previously uninhabited due to the extreme cold. "The first humans to occupy the area were only refugees, with all the constraints and coercion," he said on Tuesday (1/18/2022).

Shelters inhabited by refugees make conditions worse during winter. There are no permanent structures there. The refugees only have access to basic camps made of planks and tarps. The night breeze can easily penetrate the dilapidated structure.

The economic crisis in Lebanon had a significant impact on the refugees. The refugees who had previously found work were forced to lose their jobs, resulting in a loss of income for their families.

"The Lebanese economy has collapsed, resulting in extremely high food prices. Even Lebanese people struggle to meet their food needs, let alone refugees," Firdaus stated.

According to Firdaus, the majority of the refugees rely on aid from outside Lebanon for their daily food needs. If they do not receive food assistance on that day, they will not eat all day.

"In addition to food aid, the refugees in this winter also need blankets, winter clothing, and materials to thicken their refugee tent. Hence, the wind does not enter their camp easily. They also need medicines because many refugees are sick this winter," explained Firdaus.[]