Syrian refugees fortify their tents ahead of the winter season in a camp in Zahle, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. (The Daily Star/Samya Kullab)
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Wooden beams are stacked high, cement blocks are piled in rows and the screech of an electric saw resounds across the field – for Syrian refugees in this informal Zahle settlement preparing for winter is a race against time.In 25 days 88 homes have been re-erected, and only eight more need to be fortified against winter's snows.Two tents collapsed last year due to heavy snowfall in the settlement where Matar Ibrahim lives, also in Zahle. Their home is covered with the tarp given to them by the UNHCR the year before. But Matar is mostly concerned about finding money to pay for expensive fuel to keep his family warm during the cold winter nights. According to Abu Imad, another community leader in the camp where Abu Hussein lives, the UNHCR provided wood, tarp and water storage compartments for each home.Due to chronic financial shortfalls the World Food Program scaled back monthly food assistance for each refugee family from $27 to $13.50, a decision that has put refugees in a quandary.
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