An estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon. The vast majority of them live in cramped camps where social distancing is impossible. Their living conditions, confined dwellings and prevailing poverty, make them more likely to be exposed to disease. The lack of medical care in the camps usually does not allow for adequate treatment of the diseases. Therefore, they are more likely to suffer from pre-existing conditions, which in turn exacerbate a severe to fatal course in the event of a corona infection.
According to the United Nations, nine out of ten Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in extreme poverty. As refugees, they are usually left with no other option but to make a living doing low-paid work or as day laborers. They have to leave their home because they cannot afford to stay there. These circumstances, in turn, make them more exposed to the coronavirus.
Their poverty is compounded in recent months by rising inflation. The value of the Lebanese pound is currently decreasing by a factor of 10, while the cost of living is increasing by a factor of 5. The lives of Syrian families in Lebanon are increasingly becoming a struggle for survival, creating a cycle that is almost impossible to break.
Cap Anamur has therefore launched a program to pack and distribute 1,500 food rations to Syrian refugee families.
They are families that we are already providing medical care to with our mobile clinic.
To help contain the pandemic and ease the burden on the local healthcare system, we are now testing families for COVID-19.
With our mobile clinic, we are continuing to provide medical care in the Sidon area’s settlements and are now also supporting people with food, especially during the quarantine.
As an aid organization, we are making a contribution to breaking the cycle that is increasingly exposing Syrian refugees to the coronavirus.