January 15, 2019
Lebanon started feeling the effects of a heavy storm on Sunday 6 January 2019. Heavy rain, high winds and colder temperatures were reported all over Lebanon. Some regions were affected by either flooding, erosions or heavy snow. Over the last week, access to the affected camps was restricted, thus Islamic Relief Lebanon (IRL) has been working closely with UNHCR and CBOs to monitor the situation and collect data for intervention. Moreover, given that IRL is not operational in some of the effected camps, we are thus now in a position to release an emergency update as our partners have come back to us with the relevant information for intervention. Storm “Norma” has caused damages to infrastructure, roads and homes across Lebanon, putting at least 70,000 refugees at risk, more than half of whom are children, based on the latest humanitarian update. This winter is proving to be one of the toughest for thousands of families displaced inside Syria and seeking refuge in Lebanon. More than 11,000 in Lebanon alone have so far been hit by a wave of snow, heavy rain and strong wind, forcing many of them to evacuate their already impoverished tents. A response to the extreme weather is underway as high winds, rain and snow across Lebanon continue to have a severe impact on people and their living conditions, especially in informal settlements. To date, 151 informal settlements across the country have been found heavily impacted. One child has been reported missing.
“We were very afraid that the strong wind would blow over our tents. Water was leaking from the top forcing us to move from one place to another while we tried to sleep,” says Samira, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley.Islamic Relief Lebanon (IRL) will contribute in providing emergency response for this weather crisis for the affected refugees at informal tents settlements, in different areas in Lebanon to ensure the refugees have the means to survive the harsh weather. Islamic Relief Lebanon (IRL) will work on the following areas as a response to this crisis: