Winter 2021-22 Emergency Appeal

Jan 2019: Camps under snow in Arsal
Jan 2019: Camps under snow in Arsal
Arsal in Lebanon, close to the Syrian border, is home to 70,000 Syrian refugees and 40,000 Lebanese. At 1500 m (5,000'), its tented camps are the highest in Lebanon. In winter the temperature can fall as low as -15C. Most refugees live in flimsy tented structures which are difficult to heat. Each family has a diesel-fuelled stove. Due to withdrawal of government subsidy and the general rise in oil prices, the dollar price of heating oil in Lebanon has increased by 40% in the past 2 years and because of runaway inflation, its price in Lebanese pounds has increased 25 times in the same period.

The average family requires 700 litres of diesel to survive the winter, costing $480. UNHCR can currently supply an average of only 200 litres to refugee families, which leaves each family approximately $350 to find - or the full $480 for the many who have been unable to register with the UN agency.
EDA volunteers distributing bread in Storm Norma, Arsal, Lebanon, Jan 2019

Without adequate heating it is almost certain that the the most vulnerable will die.

Refugees used to be able to earn a little money. But with inflation rampant & shortages of everything, the Lebanese economy has all but collapsed; there are few jobs even for local Lebanese people & the pay is usually in almost worthless Lebanese Pounds. This is also the currency in which registered refugees receive a small allowance from UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) - nominally $27/month, but now paid in LBP at a rate about 1/6 of the true rate. For most, therefore, $350 -- let alone $480 -- is an impossible amount to find.

The shortfall for heating security for the 8,500 refugee families living in tents is approximately $3 million.

The local Lebanese Lebanese community faces similar problems .  Medical Centres will need around $100,000 schools $60,000 and Arsal families perhaps $1,500,000 assistance for the oil that they require. 

Edinburgh DIrect Aid cannot raise sums of this magnitude but we will make every effort to persuade UNHCR, and larger UK and other NGO's to intervene and take up this responsibility.

We are also trying to directly raise enough funds to avert the ultimate disaster threatening families identified locally as at greatest risk because their camps are in particularly high and exposed locations, or are exceptionally vulnerable for other reasons. With your help we believe that we can raise between $50,000 and $100,000, enough to provide effective help for several hundred of the most extreme cases. This will be the prime concern of our team on the ground, who will buy and distribute all the oil that funds permit.
It's a desperate situation. Please give what you can.