German ambassador visits refugee camp in the Bekaa valley

by Sabine Rösch/MZE,  2014/01/10

As a neighbor of Syria, which has been destroyed by the civil war, the small state of Lebanon continues welcoming as many Syrian refugees as no other country in the world. The camps supervised by humedica are overcrowded as well. Moreover, they are affected by need, cold and insecurity, that is the reason why the work of the active help organizations here represents a small, warming light in the dark. During his visit to the camp, the German ambassador Christian Clages gains an interesting insight into the work of humedica.

Since 2012, humedica has helped the refugees in Lebanon with medical teams and with food. At the moment, the focus is especially on the distribution of winter packages to protect against the cold. Having experienced it herself, humedica coordinator Sabine Rösch can report of the difficult situation of this crisis region:

“In the central Bekaa valley in the East of Lebanon, not far away from the Syrian border, humedica cares for Syrian refugees, in cooperation with the Lebanese association Heart for Lebanon and the American help organization Medical Teams International (MTI).

At the moment, this work is being financed by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and intends especially to provide for the basic medical care of the people. Besides that, a food package is distributed in certain camps once a month and so are now, at the beginning of winter so-called winter kits to protect against the cold. These contain, for each family, warm blankets, a stove for the heating, as well as an oilcan and monthly vouchers for the desired fuel oil.

About 350 of these kits have already been distributed, but a small contingent is still being kept apart for the expected newcomers. After hard days on the run, these will need heat urgently, but also a first sign of welcome.

Not long ago, the German ambassador Christian Clages and two journalists visited one of the two camps in Lebanon supervised by humedica. Being in office only since August 2013, this was his first visit of a Syrian refugee camp.

He was especially impressed by the fact that the basic care of the people is being assured with the simplest means and by the patience, which all team members showed with the often big families and loudly crying babies, during the parallelly conducted registrations and examinations. “You need a lot of patience with the patients”, was his admiring conclusion.

Mostly, the whole procedure takes place in very crowded and mostly badly lighted tents, which are often the living place for the whole family. Under these circumstances, the doctors must make a clear diagnosis and, if necessary, initiate a further treatment. For more complicated interventions, the patients must be transferred to the local hospitals.

Overall in the camp, there is red brown loamy soil which is very muddy in places and from the condition of the tents one can sometimes guess, how long its inhabitants have been in Lebanon or for how long they must be prepared to stay.

The quality of the tents reaches from house-like constructions with concrete soil, wooden roof construction and cloth lining to simple tents with a center pole and rough soil, walls made of plastic foil and coffee sacks, in which you can hardly stand upright.

In consideration of all these impressions, Mr. Clages pointed out the importance of the different help organizations’ work and was also much impressed by the commitment of the humedica team.

He hopes that this campaign in cooperation with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be prolonged and that thus, the great suffering of these people, who have often not only lost their home country, but also all their belongings, friends and family, can be eased a bit.”

As one of the biggest crisis regions of the world, Lebanon needs also help from outside urgently, in its willingness of helping its neighbor country Syria by receiving many refugees. The small state in the Middle East cannot provide for the refugees’ needs itself.

With a directed donation you can contribute your part and support the refugees in need. Thank you very much!

      humedica e.V.
      Reference "Syrian refugees"
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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