Refugee children determined to keep learning, as Syrian conflict reaches three-year mark
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 14 March 2014 – Shaiima* sits on a thin mattress perched on the straw mat of her family’s makeshift tent in eastern Lebanon. The 9-year-old girl leans towards her mother, Salha, who wraps her arm tenderly around Shaiima’s waist. Eyes wide, Shaiima is listening to her father, Awad, talk about their life back in the Syrian Arab Republic.
Malnutrition a silent threat emerging among Syrian refugee children in Lebanon
GHAZIYEH, Lebanon, 25 February 2014 – Fatmeh, Mona, Siham, Tourkia, Leila and the others sit in a collective shelter in Ghaziyeh, south Lebanon. The women are talking about their lives in the Syrian Arabic Republic, before the conflict broke out. They recall beautiful stone houses surrounded by orange trees, a room for each child, university for their older children, schools for the younger ones, the food.
Hassan's story: "We all have dreams"
TAL AL ABIAD, Baalbek, Lebanon, 30 January 2014 – Hassan is 13 years old. He has never been to school. Hassan is lost between two countries. His father is Syrian and his mother Lebanese, but he does not exist, officially, in either country.
Abdel-Hamid’s story: Life in an informal settlement in Lebanon
BAALBEK, Lebanon, 24 January 2014 – Abdel-Hamid is 7 years old. He arrived in Lebanon with his family almost two years ago.
Bringing learning to Syrian refugee children in Lebanon
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 10 January 2014 – Many of the younger children struggle to hold a pen. Some don’t know how; others have forgotten.
In Lebanon, a Syrian-Palestinian refugee girl looks for her path
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 6 January 2014 – Aya carefully sweeps the floor of the dimly lit room where she, her four siblings and her parents have lived since they arrived in Lebanon from the Syrian Arab Republic.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon brace against the coming winter
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 19 December 2013 – Storm ‘Alexa’ brought snow, rain, high wind speeds and sub-zero temperatures to the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley has been one of the areas hit hardest.
In Lebanon, protecting hundreds of thousands of children against polio
OMARIYA, Lebanon, 13 November 2013 – On the morning of 8 November, scores of Syrian refugee children at the Omariya informal settlement in east Lebanon held a joyful demonstration amongst the tents in their camp. Accompanied by social worker from the Lebanese NGO Beyond, they held colourful placards with the word ‘polio’ in Arabic crossed out, and they chanted, “Mom, Mom, I want to get vaccinated! Dad, Dad, I want to get vaccinated!”
Visiting Lebanon, UNICEF Director pledges continued support for Syrian refugee children
“The Lebanese Government and people have opened their borders and hearts to those fleeing conflict in Syria,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “The international community owes it to Lebanon to do everything it can to help adapt to this situation.”
For Syrian children, education needs are urgent, and urgently underfunded
NEW YORK, United States of America, 24 September 2013 – A roundtable discussion on the educational needs of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon is among events on the agenda of United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Gordon Brown, during the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Brown’s role as Special Envoy includes garnering support for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Global Education First Initiative, which strives to achieve quality education for all children.
Plan calls for funds to support education for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon
NEW YORK, United States of America, 23 September 2013 – In a press conference today convened by A World at School and United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, new financial commitments and a youth mobilization committee were announced to help Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon.
Aya – one child, one of one million Syrian refugee children
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 22 August 2013 – Her smile is contagious. She’s energetic, she's playful and she’s talented. Eight-year-old Aya hasn’t been to school in two years, and she is eager to learn. Every day, she takes lessons in reading and writing from her older sister Essaf in the makeshift tent in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley – a valley crowded by a steady stream of Syrian refugees – that’s been their home for far too long.
In Lebanon, an emergency within an emergency
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 2 July 2013 - In a remote settlement in northern Lebanon, just a few kilometres from the Syrian border, the cries of infants fill the air. We have just arrived with a small team from UNICEF Ireland, and right away we notice an unexpected and disturbing sight: two fragile infants, visibly suffering from malnutrition.
In Lebanon, a Syrian boy copes with disability and loss
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 30 May 2013 – Imagine you are a healthy 13-year-old boy from a prosperous family. One day at school, you witness the death of your classmates in a horrific bomb blast, and you realize one of your legs is missing. Suddenly forced to leave your home and your belongings behind, you walk across the border into a new country. You settle in a makeshift camp, living in poverty. And living with a disability.
In makeshift settlements in Lebanon, UNICEF delivers essential supplies to Syrian refugee children
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 25 March 2013 – Children run barefoot across the sharp rocks, broken glass and dirt, as we offload boxes of donated new shoes in the bitter wind.
Burned in an attack and now in exile in Lebanon, Adnan is one of the children at the heart of the Syrian crisis
AKKAR region, Lebanon, 13 March 2013 – When their home in Hama, western Syrian Arab Republic, was hit by a rocket, Adnan’s parents could not manage to take their son out in time. “He did not stay that long in the fire. Not more than two minutes. But the fire was very harsh on him,” his father recalls.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow asks the world to step up for Syrian refugees
Lebanon, 16 January 2013 – Lebanese communities who have taken Syrian refugees into their homes are setting an example of selflessness and community spirit that the world must match, says UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow.
Syrian refugees share their stories with UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow during her visit to Lebanon
Wadi Khaled, Lebanon – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow today visited some of the over 200,000 Syrian refugees who have been registered or are awaiting registration in Lebanon.
Syrian refugee children adjust to their new Lebanese schools
SIDON and BAALBECK, Lebanon, 8 January 2013 - Abdullah says that hygiene issues forced him to leave his country. At least, this version of his family’s flight is the one he prefers.
A 'winterization' programme targets Syrian refugees caught in the clutches of brutal weather in Lebanon
BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON, 21 December 2012 - In Dalhamieh, a small village in the Bekaa Valley, Syrian refugees are streaming into an informal camp, where their makeshift tents multiply daily. As of 19 December, this informal camp had sheltered about 698 refugees, of whom 86 were children under 2 years old.
In Lebanon, UNICEF and partners race to provide clean drinking water and prevent disease
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 23 October 2012 – The large chalkboard is a reminder that the crowded shelter housing Zaineb, her family and more than a hundred other Syrian refugees is actually a school.
In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees fleeing conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic face new challenges
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 16 October 2012 - Ten-year-old Ahmed* and his family have come to Lebanon from a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian Arab Republic. They fled their camp near Damascus when fighting intensified. One day, Ahmed’s 12-year-old sister Mona had stumbled across a bloody corpse close to their home.
In Lebanon, Child Friendly Spaces provide a safe environment of learning and play for Syrian refugee children
TRIPOLI, Lebanon, 25 September 2012 – “When my school was destroyed, my dream of becoming a doctor was destroyed,”says Asu*, 11. He is sitting in the courtyard of the Wadi Annakhle public school, outside Tripoli, which is housing Syrian refugees. He looks down. “There was a lot of shooting and bombs where we lived in Syria, and even the mosque was destroyed. It was terrible, and I saw homeless children in the streets, children who didn’t have food.”
Child Friendly Spaces Restore Normalcy in Syrian Children’s Lives
HERMEL, Lebanon, 20 July 2012 – 13-year-old Hiba* has a determination rarely seen in a child of that age. “I want to go back home, I loved it back there in Syria,” she says. “For now, I want to do French classes here to be able to go to school. I have lost one year. I do not want to lose another one.” Her classroom in Syria was destroyed by a bomb, an act she witnessed, but she remains strong and looks to the future. “This is all I wish for - to go back to school.”
In Lebanon, summer camp offers safety, education and care for Syrian refugee children and marginalized Lebanese children
BEQAA VALLEY, Syria, 27 July 2012 – “Why [do] all beautiful things have an end?” said 8-year-old Chadi* at the end of a five-week summer camp for Syrian refugee children and marginalized Lebanese children. “I was so happy here; I played, learned and made so many friends.” The camp, organized by UNICEF and the Lebanese nongovernmental organization IQRA’ Association, offered a safe place for these children to learn, play and receive psychosocial support.
UNICEF-supported summer camps are helping Syrian and Lebanese children integrate into public schools in Lebanon
BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, 6 July 2012 – “I was here at seven this morning because I did not want to be late for class,” said 8-year-old Razan*, looking up from her drawing book. “Here we get to read stories and learn new words, and sing and dance.”
Syrian refugees in Lebanon cope with hardships, fear for their families at home
AL FAQIHA, Lebanon, 7 May 2012 – The little hilltop town of Al Faqiha is located in one of the more remote corners of the Bekaa Valley, a fertile swath of land along Lebanon’s eastern frontier. It’s also the region closest to Syria, Lebanon’s troubled neighbour, making it a natural refuge for Syrian families seeking sanctuary from the unrest in their homeland.
UNICEF supports Syrian refugees seeking safety in Lebanon
RAMEH, Lebanon, 24 April 2012 – With a sigh, Siham* glances around the small room that is now home to her, her husband and their five children.
Syrian children in Lebanon pick up the pieces of the educations they left behind
MASHTA EL HAMMOUD, Lebanon, 17 April 2012 – Stepping off their minibus in the mountain village of Mashta el Hammoud, in northern Wadi Khaled, a group of children scampers up the stone steps to their classrooms. While the prospect of maths and Arabic classes may not seem attractive, there’s no mistaking these youngsters’ eagerness for the afternoon that lies ahead.
UNICEF-supported initiative providing essential school supplies to Palestinian children living in Lebanon
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 27 September 2011 - Noha Sbahi, 11, lives in Beirut on the outskirts of the Shatila Palestinian camp. Every morning, she walks to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East’s (UNRWA) school of Yabad with her eight-year-old sister Sawsan. At the top of her sixth-grade class, Noha is an excellent student, who dreams of becoming a math teacher one day.
Singer Nancy Ajram appointed UNICEF MENA Regional Goodwill Ambassador
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 23 October 2009 – UNICEF’s Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) announced today the appointment of Lebanese star Nancy Ajram as the newest Regional Goodwill Ambassador.
Regional Director launches new survey to support development in Lebanon
BEIRUT, 8 September 2008 – Recognizing the need to address economic disparities and gaps in social services throughout the country, the Government of Lebanon is working with UNICEF to develop a series of development indicators on the well-being of children.
UNICEF creates a safe haven to help refugee children in north Lebanon
NAHR EL BARED, Lebanon, 17 December 2007 – Since May, when conflicts between the Lebanese military and Fateh el Islam militants began, life for children in the Palestinian refugee camp here has been a mixture of fear and disillusionment.
Camp in Lebanon fosters peace and tolerance in a region marked by conflict
KFAREMAN, Lebanon, 10 October 2007 – At a UNICEF-supported camp here in south Lebanon this summer, 150 young people from different backgrounds and religions gathered to discuss their differences and develop the skills to resolve them.
Summer camps for Lebanese children help to heal the scars of war
AITA AL SHAEB, Lebanon, 30 August 2007 – Hearing the children of Aita el Shaeb sing and dance, it is difficult to believe that just one year ago this village in the south of Lebanon was suffering from the effects of conflict. The children are participating in a new UNICEF-supported summer camp programme, which is helping war-affected youths to heal through play.
One year later, healing the scars of war in Lebanon
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 12 July 2007 – A year has passed since a 34-day war broke out between Hezbollah and Israel, plunging Lebanon into a sudden and intense humanitarian emergency.
Displaced by conflict at northern Lebanon refugee camp, children look to the future
BEDDAWI CAMP, Lebanon, 20 June 2007 – Leaving their homes between bouts of gunfire, an estimated 21,000 Palestinian refugees have fled the fighting at Nahr El Bared camp in northern Lebanon in recent weeks.
Palestinian refugees in northern Lebanon displaced and in need
NEW YORK, 1 June 2007 – As problems persist for Palestinian refugees in the north of Lebanon – displaced as a result of armed conflict in the El Bared camp near Tripoli – UNICEF continues to respond to the crisis in close coordination with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and other partners.
Rehabilitating water systems and raising hygiene awareness in south Lebanon
HENNIYE, Lebanon, 15 February 2007 – On a bright winter day in this south Lebanese village, schoolchildren sat cross-legged on a classroom floor, eagerly watching a puppet show starring Fufu the rabbit.
Psychosocial support for children affected by conflict in south Lebanon
AL-KHIAM, Southern Lebanon, 13 February 2007 – Amid the ruins of one of south Lebanon’s more vibrant and well kept towns, children in Al-Khiam laughed as they played in the afternoon sun, almost oblivious to the agony they had suffered in recent months.
When learning saves lives: UNICEF supports mine-risk education in south Lebanon
HOUMINE AL-TAHTA, Lebanon, 12 February 2007 – Though he spoke shyly, Hassan, 9, knew very well what unexploded cluster munitions look like.
‘Our Voice’: UNICEF and Lebanon TV launch youth-produced series
NEW YORK, USA, 1 December 2006 – The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC) and UNICEF are showcasing the viewpoints of the country’s million-strong youth audience with a new television series called ‘Sawtna’, which means ‘Our Voice’.
Polio immunization campaign supports recovery in post-war Lebanon
BENT JBAIL, Lebanon, 31 October 2006 – In another key step towards recovery in post-war Lebanon, the first round of an emergency polio immunization campaign began yesterday, targeting all children up to five years of age.
Two girls in Lebanon and Israel discuss post-war concerns
NEW YORK, 30 October, 2006 – During the war between Israel and Hezbollah that ended with a ceasefire in August, young people in both Lebanon and Israel suffered while watching parts of their homelands attacked and people who lived there displaced or killed.
Reclaiming normalcy, children in Lebanon return to school at last
ANSARIYYEH, Lebanon, 16 October 2006 – “During the war, I was very scared,” said Fatima Abbas, 10. “Every day, I thought I was going to die. There was so much bombing, and I thought things would never go back to normal again.”
Lebanese children returning to school for the first time since conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 13 October 2006 – Children in southern Lebanon will be headed back to the classroom on Monday, 16 October, as part of the National Back-to-School Campaign initiated by the Ministry of Education with support from UNICEF.
Helping children heal the scars of war in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley
KHERBET KANAFAR, Lebanon, 11 October 2006 – The sun shone on smiling young faces as a local country club was transformed into an Activity Fair for children living in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley last week.
Water and hygiene aid helps Lebanese families cope in war’s aftermath
EL KHIAM, Lebanon, 25 September 2006 – This southern Lebanese border town was severely damaged during the recent conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. No building was left untouched. More than 70 per cent of El Khiam’s houses and three of its five schools were destroyed.
Teenage girls in Israel and Lebanon talk about living through war
NEW YORK, USA, 19 September 2006 – Two teenage girls, one from Israel and one from Lebanon, had an opportunity to speak on the phone recently and tell each other about themselves and their experiences in the war between Israel and Hezbollah.
The long road back to school for children in southern Lebanon
SRIFA, Lebanon, 7 September 2006 – Now that the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah has ceased, the children of southern Lebanon are trying to return to normal life. But the challenges are enormous. In the village of Srifa, half the buildings have been damaged or destroyed.
UNICEF and UN partners step up humanitarian aid in southern Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 28 August 2006 – As the fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah holds in southern Lebanon and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan makes a diplomatic visit to the region, Lebanese children continue to suffer from inadequate services, water shortages and a lack of basic supplies.
For Lebanese children, the homefront is a landscape mined with dangers
TYRE, Lebanon, 23 August 2006 – Sikuna Marei, 12, lies in the intensive care unit of Tyre’s Jebel Amel hospital. Even the oxygen mask she’s wearing can’t conceal the pain she suffers from the wound where doctors removed a jagged piece of shrapnel from her liver.
Uncertain journey for Lebanese refugees returning from Syria
NEW YORK, USA, 18 August 2006 – Thousands of Lebanese refugees who fled to Syria during the month-long conflict between Hezbollah and Israel have been crossing the border again. More than 100,000 have made the journey back to Lebanon since the ceasefire took effect on Monday.
Frontline diary: On an aid convoy to war-torn Bint Jbeil, southern Lebanon
BIN JBEIL, Lebanon, 18 August 2006 – It’s 8 a.m. and our convoy of 16 battered trucks is lined up on the Tyre seafront. I am in the rear escort vehicle, an armoured Land Cruiser, in line with the tight security rules that apply to a zone of recent conflict.
Relief for children in southern Lebanon, but danger remains
NEW YORK, 17 August 2006 – UNICEF supplies of water and fuel have arrived in one of the worst hit areas of southern Lebanon. The town of Bint Jbeil was devastated in the month-long conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, but families are already returning home. As well as trying to rebuild their lives, they now face the threat of unexploded bombs.
As thousands of Lebanese families head home, UNICEF warns of unexploded bomb danger
NEW YORK, USA, 15 August 2006 – UNICEF is warning that thousands of Lebanese children are at risk from unexploded bombs as they return to their homes in the wake of Monday’s ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.
Immunization campaign for displaced children in Lebanon gains momentum
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 11 August 2006 – A UNICEF-backed campaign to immunize children displaced by the ongoing conflict in Lebanon against measles and polio is now under way across the country.
UNICEF renews call for cessation of hostilities to assist civilians in Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 11 August 2006 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman today reiterated her call for a cessation of hostilities in Lebanon to allow humanitarian agencies to deliver emergency aid.
The humanitarian challenge in Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 9 August 2006 – Nearly a month into the conflict in the Middle East, the challenges faced by Lebanon’s civilian population are unrelenting while the delivery of emergency aid remains almost impossible.
Lebanese families fleeing conflict seek refuge at a camp in Syria
DAMASCUS, SYRIA/NEW YORK, USA, 7 August 2006 – The Zabadani Pioneer Camp near Damascus is one of Syria’s biggest hosting sites for refugees who have fled ongoing hostilities in Lebanon. The former children’s camp has cancelled its summer programme in order to accommodate 1,700 refugees.
Latest violence cuts off most humanitarian access to Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 4 August 2006 – Air strikes in northern Lebanon have destroyed the country’s last road links to the outside world, severely restricting humanitarian access.
Protecting the health and well-being of children displaced by conflict in Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 3 August 2006 – UNICEF has launched a measles immunization campaign in Lebanon to protect the health of tens of thousands of children forced from their homes by the conflict there.
Youth in the Middle East tell their stories of conflict... and hopes for peace
NEW YORK, USA, 1 August 2006 – Omer lives in Haifa, in northern Israel. She’s 15 years old. “After the siren we have about a minute to get into shelters. And usually we hear booms and faraway echoes. It’s kind of scary.”
As Middle East crisis continues, supplies reach southern Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 31 July 2006 – In the aftermath of Sunday’s attack in Southern Lebanon’s town of Qana — which left nearly 60 people dead including 37 children — UNICEF is calling on all parties to heed the call of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for an immediate cessation of hostilities.
Violence takes heavy toll on Israeli and Palestinian children
NEW YORK, USA, 28 July 2006 – More than two weeks into the conflict, the ongoing violence between Israel and Hezbollah is taking a heavy toll on children living in the region. While the number of civilian casualties continues to rise, the psychological trauma inflicted on children is difficult to measure.
Aid appeal launched as UNICEF supplies arrive in southern Lebanon
NEW YORK, USA, 26 July 2006 – The first convoy of humanitarian supplies for children has reached Tyre in southern Lebanon. The joint UN convoy contains 40 tonnes of much-needed emergency supplies destined for the tens of thousands of displaced children affected by the ongoing violence between Israel and Hezbollah.
Palestinian children hit hardest in ongoing Gaza crisis
NEW YORK, USA, 26 July 2006 – While clashes between Israel and Hezbollah intensify in Lebanon, fighting continues on a second front in Gaza in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
Lebanon aid appeal launched as first UNICEF supplies arrive
NEW YORK, USA, 24 July 2006 – UNICEF is asking for $23.8 million as part of a wider UN appeal of $150 million for emergency aid to Lebanon. Launched simultaneously in Beirut and at United Nations headquarters in New York, the appeal urges the global community to help displaced and refugee children and families in their hour of critical need.
UNICEF and partners respond to escalating crisis in Lebanon and Israel
NEW YORK, USA, 19 July 2006 – With the crisis in Lebanon and Israel entering its second week, UNICEF is seriously concerned for civilians caught in the conflict and is racing to get critical emergency supplies to tens of thousands of children affected by the hostilities.
Lebanon launches UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 27 March 2006 – Earlier this month, 20 health professionals here completed an intensive, World Health Organization-sponsored training session on monitoring and evaluation of HIV/AIDS.