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UNHCR:120 Syrian refugees fled into north Lebanon
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BEIRUT: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees confirmed Monday that 120 Syrian refugees fled into north Lebanon last week, on the last day of Ramadan, with four of those wounded. Media reports at the time suggested that dozens of families had crossed the border into Wadi Khaled and Akroum last Monday. One of the four wounded Syrians was treated in Rahal hospital, the UNHCR said. The other three did not require hospitalization, the report added.

Of the 120 who arrived on Aug. 29, all are residing with relatives in Wadi Khaled, or with hosting families previously unknown to them in the area.

One school in Wadi Khaled, which currently hosts 100 displaced Syrians, is currently being renovated, to improve sanitation and kitchen facilities. Other sites such as abandoned school have been identified as possible shelters.

Another school in Tripoli, in which 130 Syrians are currently residing, is also being renovated with funding from a London-based organization, overseen by local NGO.

In terms of community services, the Al-Irshad Wal-Islah organization held several activities for refugees during Ramadan, including several iftars and a carnival, the report stated.

The UNHCR has also carried out an educational assessment and found that the number of school-aged refugee children in the north has fallen from 989 to 543, all of which the Lebanese government has assured will be able to access public education.

The report states that the reduction in school-aged children may be due to some families returning to Syria, or relocating elsewhere in Lebanon.

A lack of sufficient recreational activities and vocational training for young people is one of the most pressing needs among the refugee population in the north, the report added. 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 06, 2011, on page 3.
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