NGOs in Syria call on the international community to support Lebanon in shouldering the enormous burden of hosting large numbers of refugees on behalf of the rest of the world. ‘The Syrian refugee crisis has surpassed the worst predictions made,’ said Najla, Country director for Dorcas in Lebanon. With the conflict in Syria entering its fifth year, political insecurity and instability have continued to force Syrians to flee their homes to neighboring countries. More than 1.3 million registered refugees have entered Lebanon, a huge number for such a small country with a population of just over 4.5 million people, which already hosts the highest refugee population per capita in the world.
‘Tensions between refugees and host communities
This dramatic number of refugees arriving in Lebanon is putting a huge strain on basic services. The humanitarian emergency has been compounded by pre-existing socio-economic and political problems, enhancing the vulnerability of both Syrian refugees and host communities. ‘It has increased tensions between both communities. Life-saving, humanitarian and protection assistance for refugees and vulnerable hosting communities as well as resilience/stabilization support to address social tensions are vital and everyone should work to address them,’ according to Najla.
Dignity and safety of a home
‘Our Christian heritage gives us at Dorcas a unique insight and empathy to do it. We must constantly be reminded that every person deserves the dignity and safety of a home—even if temporary. Dorcas and its partner organisation,have been among the NGOs struggling to serve extremely vulnerable Syrians and needy Lebanese with limited resources. We all feel the fatigue of a crisis that seems to never end and needs that only grow over time. We take comfort and inspiration from our faith to keep going, to keep serving, to trying to find solutions where none seem to exist, and never let go of our expression of solidarity with those in need.’
23 June 2015