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Middle East Crisis: Help for refugees in Lebanon


It is now more than two weeks since fighting in Lebanon began and casualties have so far reached 600 dead, 800 injured and more than 700,000 displaced. Risking their lives on the roads, families have been fleeing to the north of the country to escape the relentless shelling.
"I left my home in Baalbeck five days ago, but we only managed to reach Tripoli yesterday," said little Bilal, a refugee from the south. His parents and five siblings have found shelter in a relative's house in Tripoli, on the north coast of Lebanon.

Distribution of emergency supplies, Sferai, Lebanon

The situation is far from ideal, with 15 children and five adults sharing one room of no more than 16 square metres. Bilal said: "Yesterday we children had to sleep on the floor, while the adults managed to sleep on the few sofas… anything is better than the fear I used to feel before."

His eyes, however, expressed his sadness at losing his very small home in Baalbeck, a city of Roman architectural treasures. "Only adults know the reasons behind this war," said Bilal on his way towards his new shelter.

Over the weekend, SOS Children distributed 160 mattresses to similar families displaced as a result of the unrest. So far, relief efforts have been focused on supporting families seeking shelter in public buildings, such as schools. However, SOS Children has now extended its efforts to offer practical support to as many of the more disadvantaged families in the area as possible.

In the south, in the town of Jezzine, SOS Children continues to provide supplies, including baby milk, food and nappies, to families with young children. The Village Director of SOS Children's Village Kfarhay is currently undertaking an assessment of the needs of displaced families within his area and once completed, relief efforts will be expanded accordingly.

The SOS family is still in a stable situation, with most children and SOS mothers having now returned to their respective villages or youth homes despite the difficult and dangerous journeys, which have been made extremely hazardous by the continued fighting, which has left roads destroyed and fuel at a premium.

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Relevant Countries: Israel, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Syria.

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