Refugees borrowing money to make ends meet

BEIRUT: Around 80 percent of Syrian refugee households are forced to borrow money each month to make ends meet, according to a survey commissioned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

The survey found that for 41 percent of Syrian refugee households, food vouchers are the main source of income, whereas 29 percent of households rely on revenue from non-agricultural casual labor and 13 percent cite income from skilled work as a main source of support. 

Some 80 percent of the respondents said they had to borrow money or receive credit to complement their income. Of those who borrowed money or sought credit, 73 percent of households said said they did so to buy food, 50 percent of respondents said that they used these resources to pay rent and 31 percent of participants indicated that the funds were needed to cover health care costs. 

The survey said the main lenders to Syrian refugees were friends and relatives in Lebanon. The survey also indicated that 70 percent of registered households received food vouchers on a regular basis, 41 percent of them received hygiene kits regularly and about 25 percent of households benefited from regular health care services.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 26, 2014, on page 5.




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