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Polish humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon

Among the states bordering with Syria, most refugees who have left their country because of the war are currently in Lebanon. The presence of such a large group of refugees in the territory of Lebanon is related to big burdens for this country in terms of both social and economic dimensions. Polish Centre for International Aid carried out a project in several towns of nordern Lebanon. Its aim was to provide shelter for the refugees, to diminish poverty and to prevent deterioration of relations between the refugees and the local community. The whole project was implemented in the unconditional cash&voucher mode. In this case, this method is based on providing financial aid through prepaid cards. The cards are topped up every month with a predetermined amount. As part of the project, 330 families were to be supported (approx. 1,750 people).

Following activities were implemented:

  • Financial assistance was granted to refugees trying to rent an apartment. It was directed to 35% of the beneficiaries (116 families), and aimed at paying rent for houses and apartments. Monthly, it was a total of 160 USD (80% average rent, which is 200 USD/month in the region of Akkar).
  • Financial aid was granted to the refugees living with Lebanese families (host families). It was directed to 45% of the beneficiaries (149 families), and was aimed at covering additional costs, generated by a larger number of house dwellers: electricity and water bills, additional food, small investments (mattresses, blankets, etc.). It was a total of 50 USD per month.
  • Financial assistance was granted to the refugees living with the Lebanese families (host families), who were able to adapt or reconstruct their dwellings, in order to improve living conditions of the refugees (66 families). Most of the houses in the rural areas of Lebanon (and other countries in Middle East) has the ability of expanding: for instance, reinforcing bars stick from the roofs of many  houses, what allows to add an additional floor. The total amount of the assistance was 640 USD and is equal to the amount of financial aid granted to the families renting houses and apartments.
  • Assistance with covering costs of food and other basic expenses was granted (182 families using other forms of aid listed above). That assistance was directed to the refugees who for various reasons were not registered in UNHCR and did not receive food aid from this organisation. The assistance of 25 UDS/person/month was directed to 55% of the beneficiaries and paid in addition to the financial assistance for the renting costs.

The local partner of the project was Ataa Jazil Youth Foundation. The period of the implementation of the project was between 15 June and 31 December 2012.