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    » 07/24/2012, 00.00

    SYRIA - LEBANON

    Caritas Lebanon: influx of desperate Syrian refugees



    Over 47 thousand people are living in makeshift camps and tents, where there is a high risk of epidemics. Their conditions are terrible. To date, the Lebanese government will not grant permission for a refugee camp.

    Beirut (AsiaNews) - "The situation in the refugee camps on the border with Syria, is terrible and getting worse day by day. Thousands of refugees are crossing the border trying to escape from the Syrian hell. Most are women and children. The suffering of these people is enormous, wherever you go you hear cries of despair, hatred, revenge, many feel abandoned by God. " This is what Fr. Simon Faddoul, President of Caritas Lebanon tells AsiaNews. The priest speaks of more than 47 thousand refugees who have sought shelter in the Bekaa Valley and in makeshift camps on the northern border between Syria and Lebanon. They come mostly from the Sunni-majority provinces of Homs and Hama, the most affected by the war between the regime and rebels. For several weeks many of the Muslims who have fled are Alawites along with small groups of Christians from Damascus and Aleppo. Today, over 8 thousand people have crossed the border.

    According to Fr. Faddoul most of the refugees are Sunni Muslims. Only 5% are Christian.

    "Our volunteers are always on alert - he says - because these people need everything: clothes, water, food, medicine, blankets. For political reasons the government does not authorize the construction of refugee camps, forcing people to find shelter in old abandoned houses, shacks, makeshift tents. " To help the Syrian refugees, Caritas and other NGOs have set up several collection centers across the Bekaa valley and a mobile clinic dedicated to the care of the wounded.

    The priest said that hundreds of foreign volunteers came to Lebanon to support the local Caritas, but without the refugee camps it is impossible to organize aid. "Anyone who crosses the border goes to our centers and plants their tents there. In these days we have asked the government permission to increase our space for at least the distribution of aid, to prevent overcrowding and the outbreak of epidemics."

    Fr. Faddoul invites Western countries not to forget the Syrian people and to press for an immediate cease-fire. "The situation is irreversible. Many fear an escalation which will be almost impossible to escape. We must try to be ready for any eventuality because we do not know what will happen in the future." (SC)

     

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    See also

    09/11/2012 VATICAN - SYRIA
    Card. Sarah "a father" for Syrian refugees, Christians and Muslims
    The President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum yesterday visited the refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley. Fr. Simon Faddoul president of Caritas Lebanon tells AsiaNews about the emotion of refugees, mostly Muslims. A mother with a child of four months asked the cardinal to take the child to save him from this terrible situation. In tent cities water, electricity, food is lacking. An appeal to Westerners to open their "eyes, ears and hearts to the suffering of the Syrian brothers."

    27/11/2013 SYRIA - LEBANON
    In Lebanon, more than 800,000 Syrian refugees living in the open or shacks
    By the end of December, at least 3 million Syrians will have found refuge in neighbouring countries. For the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, the situation is likely to get worse with the arrival of winter. In Lebanon, most refugees live in 960 makeshift camps. The most serious situation is in the Bekaa Valley. About half of the 800,000 refugees are under 17. Cor Unum, Caritas Lebanon and Rome's Bambin Gesù Hospital for Children launch a health mission for Syrian refugee children.

    23/09/2016 19:07:00 LEBANON – SYRIA
    Caritas: as poverty creates tensions between the Lebanese and Syrian refugees, there is risk of conflict

    Caritas Lebanon director Fr Paul Karam warns of great potential "social conflict" between locals and refugees. He will talk to Pope Francis about the “tragic situation”. The local Church is involved in mediation and tensions reduction. Those “who make weapons also run the war and manoeuvre it to make it go on”



    01/07/2016 15:22:00 LEBANON – SYRIA
    Caritas Lebanon coping with refugees amid acceptance and fundamentalism

    For Fr Paul Karam, Lebanon’s religious and cultural ethnic mosaic is at risk. Region-wide plans and international efforts are needed. Fundamentalism is fuelled by deteriorating conditions in refuge facilities.



    16/12/2013 SYRIA - LEBANON
    For Caritas Lebanon, "thousands of Syrian refugees could die from the cold and the snow"
    The refugee situation in the Bekaa Valley (eastern Lebanon) is "terrible, said Mgr Simon Faddoul, president of Caritas Lebanon. In addition to cold and hunger, people could die from fires caused by makeshift stoves. Yesterday, a one-year-old child died in a fire in a refugee camp in southern Lebanon. Caritas calls on people to remember at Christmas Syria's more than 1.3 million war refugees.



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