According to the latest United Nations figures, three years after the onset of civil war in Syria there are now 915,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, or the equivalent of a quarter of the local population of 4 million. This is the highest per capita concentration of any country in recent history, without counting the civilians fleeing from Syria to Lebanon who are not registered as refugees, numbering some 800,000.
33.6 % of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are to be found in the Bekaa Valley, east of Beirut, whereas over 28% have found refuge in north Lebanon, near Tripoli. The remaining 38% of Syrians fleeing from violence are concentrated in the capital Beirut and in the south of the country.
The Sovereign Order of Malta’s Lebanese Association offers medical and social assistance to Syrian refugees in three specific centres in Khaldieh and Kobayat-Akkar, in north Lebanon, and in Kefraya close to Beirut. Since August 2011 to date the Order of Malta has helped some 30,000 people by providing free health services and distributing regular parcels of food, personal hygiene and baby kits.
During the cold winter months, the Lebanese Association also distributes blankets and heaters and offers counselling, especially to the many children forced to leave their homes from one day to the next.
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Photos by Paolo Marchetti