Lebanon and Syria
The Syrian Civil War has had great human costs. Mission East helps Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons rebuild themselves and their country
The Syrian Civil War makes the entire region unstable. Chaos, loss and uncertainty characterize everyday life. Especially for the over 5 million. Syrian refugees and 6 million internally displaced persons who have no home or lack the resources needed to rebuild what they had before the Syrian Civil War broke out. Mission East helps approx. 8,000 Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons recover.
Mission East's assistance to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons is spread across three localities in the region and has both a humanitarian and a developmental aim. In Homs, Syria, we support internally displaced and former internally displaced persons who have returned to recreate the home they were forced to leave as the Syrian Civil War escalated. In Aley and Batroun, Lebanon, we support Syrian refugees and the local communities receiving Syrian refugees.
Read more: Mission East is moving into Syria and Lebanon
When part of our support to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons is centered around Homs, it is because the city is one of the sites most affected by the Syrian Civil War. Over half of the infrastructure is destroyed with negative consequences for food production. The Syrian refugees and former internally displaced persons who have now returned or want to do so, are therefore finding it difficult to re-build their life.
In Lebanon, our projects target Aley and Batroun for two strategic reasons. First, the combination of a high concentration of Syrian refugees and a low coverage when it comes to the presence of international and local NGOs. Second, the massive influx of refugees is putting pressure on the Lebanese locals whose needs have been neglected.
How Mission East Supports Local Lebanese Communities, Syrian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
With support from Danida and in collaboration with the Dutch aid organization Tabitha and the Syrian NGO Orthodox Youth Movement, Mission East provides emergency food assistance, legal assistance and support to restore sustainable livelihoods to approx. 8000 Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons as well as local Lebanese communities.
In addition, we are assisting local beneficiary communities in Lebanon that have been adversely affected by the Syrian Civil War - and especially challenged by the influx of Syrian refugees.
Children are particularly vulnerable among Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. That is why we make sure that the children in four schools in Homs receive free food every day for a year to prevent malnutrition and to take the pressure off the families. At the same time, we train mothers to improve children's health and hygiene and strengthen their professional skills.
Read more: From bare survival to lust for life
The Syrian Civil War has stifled economic activity. The production apparatus and human capital have become severely weakened. Factory equipment, agricultural equipment and soil are damaged; young Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons have missed education, many men have lost their jobs due to war injuries, widows without business skills, are forced to work.
Therefore, part of the support that Mission East provides to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons is to purchase supplies and give loans to former farmers for the purpose of restoring local agriculture and thus strengthening food security, as well as offering business loans to former businessmen who do not have access to loans in local banks. At the same time, we offer vocational training and internship programs for women and young people.
The programs in Lebanon target primarily women. Local women as well as girls and women among Syrian refugees. On the one hand, we offer them vocational training to facilitate their access to the labor market in Lebanon and Syria (upon their anticipated return). We also provide psycho-social support and legal assistance to those in need of valid civil documentation of an education, marriage or birth.
On top of that, we offer art classes and provide homework support and language lessons to Syrian refugee children and their parents. We also help parents among Syrian refugees handle children suffering from trauma from the war in Syria. They are many.
We help local Lebanese communities, Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons with international and local partners
Mission East expects positive results from the ongoing support to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons in Syria and Lebanon for three reasons.
- We have years of experience with projects related to the Syrian Civil War and beyond.
- We have expertise in nexus contexts that call simultaneously for emergency relief and support for long-term development.
- We draw on trusted partner organizations that are already helping Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons.
The project implementation takes place partly in collaboration with the specialized Dutch NGO Tabitha, which has helped Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons in the region since 2016, and in collaboration with Orthodox Youth Movement (OYM), a local NGO whose employees are all from the area in and around Homs. Both know the local needs and are equipped to negotiate with the local authorities.
Read more: Nexus - between crisis and development
The projects in Syria and Lebanon build on existing or previous projects in favor of Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. Where Mission East has overall project responsibility, Tabitha and OYM are responsible for the implementation. This division of labor ensures efficiency and agility in our support to Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons. Also, it strengthens OYM's administrative capacity.
The Syrian Civil War is constantly evolving. It calls for a comprehensive, coherent and long-term approach to help with Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons back on track, both inside and outside Syria.