SYRIA: WEST SHOULD LEAVE ASSAD ALONE
Prior to 2011, Syria was a very advanced and almost westernized country. The women did not wear the Burqa. The men drank. Life was all right. It was in 2011 that the rebels attacked and they were supported by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and NATO. Now, the result is that Syria has been reduced to almost rubble with over 7 million refugees leaving the country for Europe.
It is time that Europe and the West should leave Assad to sort out his own issues or they will have the ignominy of facing the massive inflow of refugees.
NATO is also to take the blame for this as they too supported the rebels. They asked not to send weapons to Syria and Trump was forced to bomb Syria as he was pushed into it by the Jewish Lobby and the Neo- Conservatives.
Over a million refugees from Syria have fled to neighbouring Lebanon to escape the conflict. So, it is high time that the West should leave Syrian President Bashar al-Assad alone to find out what is best for him or be blamed for the inflow of refugees.
The conflict in Syria began on 15 March 2011 and has since taken the lives of over 160,000 people with over 2.7 million Syrian fleeing to neighbouring countries to escape the violence. Lebanon, despite its small size, is hosting over a million refugees from Syria, equal to more than 20% of Lebanon's original population (UNHCR data portal 9 June 2014).
Refugees fleeing Syria continue to enter Lebanon on a daily basis. Over 53,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) are now residing in Lebanon. The vast majority of these refugees fled Syria with no possessions or cash on them. Now they live in very difficult, and often cramped conditions, unable to find any kind of employment to support their families.
These families lack everything from food to clothing, from mattresses to cooking equipment, from basic shelter to hygiene items.
Around 59% of the families have one room as a shelter and 22% of the large families, where there were 8 plus members per family are living in a single room. 82% are dependent on food aid and 73% do not have food for the entire family.
In response to this growing humanitarian crisis, Welfare Associations have been implementing a number of emergency programmes in the Palestinian camps and gatherings throughout Lebanon to provide urgent assistance. In south Lebanon they have been able to provide clothing and food vouchers and improve living conditions through basic shelter repairs, in Tripoli, Saida and across the Beqaa Valley.
They have been providing food packages and hygiene kits, and in the Beirut area in partnership with the European Commission's Department of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) they are providing cash assistance to newly arrived refugee families and some very basic shelter repairs to improve hygiene, sanitation and safety standards. The cash assistance involves a careful verification and due diligence process and cheques are cashed at the bank directly on presentation of identification documents. The use of cash, as this is a protracted emergency, reduces administration costs and maximizes funds to families – and most importantly enables the refugees themselves to prioritise and meet their most urgent family needs (whether rent, food, medication for a sick family member, clothing or household items.)
Following the successful December 2013 distributions of emergency food packs and hygiene kits to 800 struggling families across the Beqaa Valley, facing the harsh winter conditions, they have been able to continue this support to a further 800 Palestinian refugee families from Syria in this region with three additional rounds of emergency support distributions. In May 2014, one round of 800 food packages and a one-off round of 700 hygiene kits and 700 children's kits were successfully distributed to families living in Palestinian refugee camp of Wavel in Baalbek and in the surrounding areas in the Beqaa Valley region.
Some of the food parcels contained items such as: Rice, Pasta, Chickpeas, Oil, Cheese, Canned meat, Beans, Lentils, Tea, Sugar and jam. Family Hygiene Kits contained:
Toiletry items such as towels, shampoo, soap, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary pads and toilet rolls and cleaning items such as disinfectant, clothes washing powder, dish washing liquid and refuse bags.
Women's Hygiene and Sanitation: Some of the latest projects have become an increasing necessity for Syrian women internally displaced and in Refugee Camps. The hygiene packs contained: sanitation towels, soap, deodorant, hair removal wax, toothpaste and a toothbrush.
This project caught the eye of one of their active Ambassadors, Mariah Idrissi (Public Speaker and International Model), who stated: "As soon as I heard about this project it immediately inspired me to get involved.
I imaged myself as one of these women and I couldn't bare the thought of worrying about my cleanliness. It is a basic human necessity that as a woman we are probably much more sensitive to it.
I've been volunteering with Human Care Syria for some time now and I have witnessed the sad reality so many innocent people are going through.
It may be easier said than done to put ourselves in the shoes of others but remember, this could have happened to any of us and I'm certain we would depend on our brothers and sisters out there to show your support'.
Proposed crippling countrywide strike TO SAVE ECONOMY, ASSETS, NATURAL RESOURCES– D.J. RAJAKARUNA
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