Canadian Reformed World Relief Fund
PO Box 85225, Burlington ON, L7R 4K4

Milk & Diapers Update

Fall Update

Milk & Diapers Program: Why continue to help?

The conflict in Syria has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian and displacement crises in decades, forcing more than 5.6 million Syrians across borders and displacing an estimated 6.2 million internally. Countries in the region, including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, continue to host the vast majority of Syrian refugees. At present Syrian refugees have little opportunities for a safe and sustainable return to Syria and continue to suffer from the exhaustion of personal resources and the deterioration of living conditions in host countries after nearly nine years of conflict. While the conflict has stabilized throughout the majority of the country, it has not yet ended and the economic situation in Syria and the region is extremely dire. Resources are also increasingly strained in host countries where the majority of refugees still remain, including Lebanon.

In Lebanon, Syrian refugees are particularly vulnerable because there are no refugee camps where they can live for free. Moreover, the Government of Lebanon has imposed severe restrictions on work, limiting livelihood opportunities and making it difficult for families to cover their basic needs. Registered refugee families must still obtain a work permit, which requires a sponsoring employer that is difficult to find. (Syrian refugees are also only legally permitted to work in agriculture, construction, and the environment as per the Lebanon Labor Law, which further limits the opportunities available.) Those who are not able to obtain a work permit are forced to find work in the informal sector, which pays low wages and oftentimes forces refugees to work long hours with few rights availed to them. In 2018, 73% of the refugee population was not legally registered. The structural barriers mentioned above cause refugees to remain dependent on food, cash and in-kind aid to help provide for their families.

This project supported approximately 320 vulnerable families each month living in the Bekaa Valley with infants and young children and elderly through the provision of bags of milk and diapers. Milk provided critical nutrition support to beneficiaries with children ages 1-5, while diapers helped support the hygiene and sanitation needs of young infants and children, as well as adults in need. This program complemented and leveraged the resources of LSESD/MERATH’s ongoing food assistance programming.

Results

  • 2,760 bags of milk were distributed

  • 2,716 bags of baby diapers & 335 bags of adult diapers were distributed

  • Out of the total number of beneficiary households, 615 households (95%) were Syrian refugees and 31 households (5%) were vulnerable Lebanese.

  • Most of the beneficiaries receive no aid from the UN