Ross Mountain visits a tented settlement of Syrian refugees in Zahle, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. (Photos courtesy of UNDP)
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An informal refugee camp where Syrian arrivals began setting up tents around two years ago has begun seeing signs of life beyond day-to-day survival.This past Saturday afternoon, the newly appointed United Nations Development Program Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon Ross Mountain visited the tent settlement of Fayda in the Bekaa Valley town of Zahle. The stop in Fayda, one of around hundreds of such camps that have sprung up throughout Lebanon over the past couple of years, was part of an all-day trip to visit various Syrian refugee communities. It is estimated that over 80 percent of Syrian school-aged children in Lebanon have dropped out of school, something that both aid agencies and the refugees themselves are trying to reverse.As the U.N. guest entered the classroom, the students quickly stood at attention, a sign of respect for their visitor as well as a testament to their creation of a disciplined classroom in otherwise hectic and squalid conditions.With over 900,000 Syrian refugees now registered in Lebanon, the number will soon reach 1 million.
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