Best Practices

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Syrian crisis: protecting refugees and asylum seekers in Lebanon

Mar 2016 - Feb 2017 | Lebanon

Partner

GVC Onlus - with funding from European Commission – Directorate General Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)
Italy

GVC- Civil Volunteer Group, is a non-governmental, secular, and independent organization, founded in Bologna in 1971. We are active in international development aid projects with complex action strategies: from humanitarian aid to populations suffering from conflicts and natural disasters to reconstruction, hygiene, and food security; from rural development toeducation, to the protection of women's and children's rights. In over forty years of activity, GVC has operated in all parts of the world, carrying out thousands of projects. We collaborate with public institutions, cultural associations, cooperatives, and Italian and European NGOs, organizing seminars, conferences, exhibits and festivals, laboratories in school and training courses for teachers. We produce educational materials and carry out communication activities on sensitive issues such as differences, human rights, women's issues, sustainable trade, and biodiversity. GVC works in 26 Countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Philippines, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Mozambique, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Perù, Domenican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti, Cuba.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011, more than 4 million of Syrian refugees have fled to neighbouring countries; more than 1 million of them hosted in Lebanon. Bekaa Valley is the area hosting the biggest number of refugees, living mainly in informal tented settlement where access to basic services such as water facilities and hygiene services is very scarce.

Since 2012, GVC is providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian and Lebanese families fled from the conflict in Syria through several interventions: awareness-raising initiatives; water, sanitation and hygiene actions, reinforcing the capacity of the local authorities in developing the water supply infrastructural system and in improving public services. These actions contribute to build a more peaceful environment for the refugees and the local communities, avoiding arising of conflicts.

The activity implemented from March 2016 to February 2017 targeted 11.000 people. It aimed to protect the most vulnerable Syrian and Lebanese households by reinforcing community participation and mobilization in informal tented settlements through consultations and information activities aimed at identify water, sanitation and shelter needs and by ensuring access to quality water and hygiene assistance, safe and adequate shelter. Installment of latrines and water tanks, distribution of shelters to vulnerable families, decent shelter and campsite conditions have been ensured. These actions have reduced health and environmental risks and have reinforced the capacity of impacted households and institutions to cope with the effects of the prolonged crisis, thus decreasing the vulnerability of refugees: ensuring decent living conditions is a key factor to avoid shocks and stresses linked to adverse climate and environmental conditions. Moreover, the activity has foreseen the provision of information to the community, in order to build capacities and raise awareness.