BEIRUT: Some 8,000 Syrian refugees are estimated to have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees this week, the highest weekly figure since the start of the crisis, the organization announced Friday.
The majority of new refugees are arriving from Homs, Idlib, Damascus and Aleppo. UNHCR is providing services to some 212,000 Syrian refugees, 147,000 of which are officially registered.
To meet the growing demand, UNHCR recently opened a new registration site in the Bekaa Valley and is planning to open another one in Tyre, having already expanded operations in Beirut, measures the agency hopes will reduce waiting periods. There are currently four registration centers throughout the country.
The report went on to detail UNHCR’s efforts to respond to the damage left by last week’s severe winter storm, which caused flooding throughout the country including unfinished buildings and informal settlements that house refugees.
According to the report, UNHCR and its partner organizations have been working to distribute food and winter clothes vouchers, blankets, mattresses, and hygiene and baby kits, in addition to working with the Lebanese government to identify better suited locations for shelter.
The report also mentioned two security incidents targeting Syrian refugee families in Akkar this week. A dynamite stick hit the rooftop of a house sheltering two refugee families in Sheikh Lar, injuring no one, while a father and daughter were wounded in Hayzouq when unknown assailants opened fire on them from behind the main door to their home.