Syrian families have sought refuge in Lebanon since violence broke out in their home country last March. There has been a sharp increase of arrivals in recent days, with many families fleeing Homs now arriving in the Bekaa valley, in Lebanon's northwest.
The Lebanese government has responded to the influx of Syrian refugees by mandating its High Relief Commission to assist families in the country's north. However, the commission does not have the mandate to operate in the Bekaa. There, incoming refugees are mostly left to the care of host communities. ICRC Lebanon is now supporting about 350 refugee families and their host communities in the Bekaa and stands ready to expend its action if more Syrian familiesdecide to cross the border.
The violence of recent weeks has also resulted in more wounded persons crossing the border. There too, the ICRC and its Lebanese Red Cross partners intervene directly in the villages and towns where wounded refugees arrive by providing medical supplies, supporting local health structures and following wounded patients until they are released from hospital care.
Head of ICRC Lebanon Jurg Montani provides an update on Syrian refugees in Lebanon and explains how the violence in Homs and other Syrian cities is impacting Lebanese communities.