A displaced girl poses for a photo at a refugee camp. WAM
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
It is difficult to imagine that 3.8 million refugees and internally displaced persons in the Middle East and millions of destitute families in Africa live in tragic conditions in the face of one of the coldest winters in the region, as they face in the refugee-hosting countries in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.
Temperatures reach below zero, and it is difficult to imagine that a child would take shelter in a dilapidated tent, searching amid floods, storms and snow for some warmth.
With this in mind, the “Let’s Make Their Winters Warmer” campaign, launched by the “The Most Beautiful Winter in the World” campaign, in partnership with the “Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives,” the “UNHCR” and the “Regional Network of Food Banks,” and in cooperation with Arab content creator Hassan Suleiman, known as ” AboFlah,” aims to provide the largest amount of aid and support the largest number of refugee families and disadvantaged communities in the region in the winter season by 100,000 families so that they can face and bear the difficult winter conditions in the Arab world or those who are facing poor living conditions in Africa, in order to reinforce the concept of humanitarian work in society and devote it as a permanent approach in the UAE, which has become a global platform for humanitarian work.
United Nations figures on the situation of displaced persons and refugees in the world indicate that the magnitude of the tragedy today means that more than 1% of the world’s population has been subjected to forced displacement, with which they almost certainly lost the ability to return to their homes, especially with the climate turmoil that the world witnessed in the past two years.
Many refugee and displaced families, both internally and externally, depend on the assistance provided by UNHCR to be able to secure warmth and safety, and to meet the needs of their children in terms of shelter, food and nutrition. This year, UNHCR launched a winter aid plan for 3.8 million refugees and displaced people in the region.
Without urgent donations, many will not be able to stay safe and warm during the colder months. For many, this will be their 10th consecutive winter away from home, as families face even more difficult conditions that have pushed them into extreme poverty, making them even more vulnerable than before.
UNHCR works in 130 countries to provide protection and assistance, and support refugees and host communities to adapt and find solutions in an increasingly harsh climate. The world will reach the threshold of 84 million people in 2021.
According to UNHCR figures, more than 1.2 million Iraqis remained internally displaced until the end of 2020, and there were more than 280,000 refugees or asylum seekers in Iraq, including 242,000 Syrians, and women constituted 48% of the total number of refugees in Iraq.
In its report on Syrian refugees issued last March, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced that half of the Syrians have become refugees and displaced persons, ten years after the outbreak of the conflict in their country.
The authorities noted that more than 13 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance and protection, while 12.4 million people (60% of the total population) suffer from food shortages, and called on the international community to redouble collective efforts to support Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them.
As for Lebanon, which in turn suffers from difficult economic conditions that have increased the challenges facing the Syrian refugees on its land, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is cooperating with the World Food Program and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to confront what it describes as “a state of rapid deterioration in the living conditions of refugees.” Syrians”, who the three agencies confirm that “almost all of them are unable to provide the minimum expenditure necessary to ensure survival.”
Refugees struggle to find decent and safe shelter in Lebanon.
About 60 per cent of Syrian refugee families live in vulnerable, substandard, or overcrowded housing. Two-thirds of families have had to reduce the size of food rations or reduce the number of meals consumed per day. The World Food Programme is currently assisting more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees and 600 000 Lebanese citizens per month by providing cash assistance and food rations.