LEBANON / SYRIAN REFUGEES

23-Apr-2018 00:02:22
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said Syrian refugees in Lebanon are struggling to make ends meet as the majority borrow money to cover their basic needs such as rent, food and health care. UNHCR
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STORY: LEBANON / SYRIAN REFUGEES
TRT: 2:22
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 24 JANUARY 2018, BHANNINE, LEBANON
SHOTLIST
24 JANUARY 2018, BHANNINE, LEBANON

1. Close up, Shaalan in tent
2. Wide shot, Shaalan with family going through medicine
3. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Shaalan Qaddour, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“Sometimes we make tea and dip bread in the tea. We drink the tea and thank God. What can we do?’’
4. Close up, Shaalan’s wife smiling
5. Close up, Shaalan’s wife praying rosary
6. Wide shot, Shaalan and wife
7. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Sobhiya Homeid, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“As you can see, we spend everything [we get] and still can’t make ends meet because everything is expensive and I am sick.”
8. Wide shot, young man bringing soup Sobhiya inside her tent
9. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Sobhiya Homeid, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“We receive fuel assistance but we use it to get food for the children.”
10. Various shots, Sobhiya walking through tents
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Mireille Girard, Lebanon Representative, United Nations High Comissioners for Refugees (UNHCR):
“At the moment, the vulnerabilities are increasing and we are barely maintaining the level of assistance we had the previous year.”
12. Close up, Sobhiya
13. Wide shot, Sobhiya in tent
14. Med shot, Sobhiya having soup
15. Close up, soup
16. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Shaalan Qaddour, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“Living expenses, All I worry about is living expenses. It’s the only thing that worries me. I’m always thinking about where to get [money].”
17. Wide shot, Shaalan trying to stand
18. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Shaalan Qaddour, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“There is no work or anything like that. Where should we go? I’m disabled and old. I’m 90 years old.”
19. Various shots, Shaalan walking outside
STORYLINE
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said Syrian refugees in Lebanon are struggling to make ends meet as the majority borrow money to cover their basic needs such as rent, food and health care.

Shaalan and his family are from Homs. He said they struggle with debt to buy medicines for his diabetic wife, forcing them to live on soup and lentils.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Shaalan Qaddour, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“Sometimes we make tea and dip bread in the tea. We drink the tea and thank God. What can we do?’’

Many Syrians, like Shaalan, live in poverty. Sobhiya is a widow and mother of five. Her family lives on less than USD three a day. She said she receives assistance but it is not enough.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Sobhiya Homeid, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“As you can see, we spend everything [we get] and still can’t make ends meet because everything is expensive and I am sick.”

According to a UN-led country-wide vulnerability assessment of the Syrian refugee population in Lebanon (VASyR), 76 percent of the Syrian refugee population live below the national poverty line of USD 3.80 per day. Only the 58 percent which live below the extreme poverty line of USD 2.90 per day in a country where the cost of housing, food, health care and other basic needs are high currently are considered eligible for UNHCR’s cash transfers of USD 175 throughout the year; and this is the problem according to the Agency’s representative in Lebanon Mireille Girard.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mireille Girard, Lebanon Representative, United Nations High Comissioners for Refugees (UNHCR):
“At the moment, the vulnerabilities are increasing and we are barely maintaining the level of assistance we had the previous year.”

UNHCR is assisting 33,000 of the most vulnerable refugee families. Post-distribution monitoring reports show that refugees spend the assistance largely on rent, food, health and fuel.

Sobhiya has difficult choices to make.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Sobhiya Homeid, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“We receive fuel assistance but we use it to get food for the children.”

Shaalan and Sobhiya benefit from UNHCR’s cash assistance, but both have taken up debt to secure their basic needs such as food and healthcare.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Shaalan Qaddour, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“Living expenses, All I worry about is living expenses. It’s the only thing that worries me. I’m always thinking about where to get [money].”

The 2017 VASyR showed that 87 percent of Syrian refugee families in Lebanon have taken up debt, with an average debt of 798 USD per household.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Shaalan Qaddour, Syrian refugee from Homs:
“There is no work or anything like that. Where should we go? I’m disabled and old. I’m 90 years old.”

UNHCR said hundreds of thousands of impoverished Syrian refugee families in the Middle East risk losing their main financial lifeline this summer, unless urgently needed additional resources are found to plug a USD 270 million funding shortfall. Some USD 5.6 billion are needed in 2018 to support Syrian refugees in the region, but as of the end of March the UN appeal was only 27 percent funded.
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