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The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
01:47 AM Beirut time
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United Kingdom boosts winter aid to Syrian refugees
A Syrian refugee boy walks in a muddy alley at a makeshift camp in the village of Kfarkahel, in the Kura district near the northern city of Tripoli, on December 11, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/IBRAHIM CHALHOUB)
A Syrian refugee boy walks in a muddy alley at a makeshift camp in the village of Kfarkahel, in the Kura district near the northern city of Tripoli, on December 11, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/IBRAHIM CHALHOUB)
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BEIRUT: The British minister of state for the Middle East announced Wednesday that the United Kingdom would provide almost 24 million pounds ($40 million) in winter assistance to Syrian refugees, as other organizations and the Social Affairs Ministry also stepped up aid in light of a heavy snowstorm.

Minister Hugh Robertson announced that his country would provide assistance for Lebanon’s refugee crisis following a two-day visit to the country. The allocation is part of the 60 million pound pledge announced by the International Development Secretary Justine Greening on Dec. 11.

The assistance will include packages containing warm clothing, thermal blankets, tents and shelter material, as well as heaters, fuel, insulation kits and medical care.

The Free Nasserite Movement’s aid arm also released a statement Wednesday saying that it was following up on Syrian refugees in areas most affected by the harsh weather conditions in the Bekaa Valley and Akkar.

The group’s medical teams inspected over 100 refugees, mostly children, and provided them with health services and medicine.

The head of the aid committee, Ziad al-Ajouz, appealed to aid organizations to offer a helping hand and “secure means of humanitarian support of food, medicine, and means of heating urgently,” according to the statement.

The Social Affairs Ministry continued its campaign to distribute aid to 24 tented settlements, most of which are located in the Bekaa Valley, in cooperation with the Lebanese Army and the UNHCR. The aid includes material needed to fortify tents against rain in addition to a monthly stipend to secure heating elements.

According to a statement, aid was distributed to the towns of Brital, Shaath and Hawsh al-Nabi. The campaign will continue Thursday.

The ministry also followed up on the conditions of refugees in the Bekaa Valley and Arsal and took note of their heating needs and health conditions.

Lebanon is currently hosting over 830,000 refugees, according to the United Nations refugee agency, although the real number is thought to exceed a million.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 12, 2013, on page 3.
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