Refugee camps flooded, 6 dead as heavy rains hit Lebanon, Turkey

Via Middle East Monitor

Refugee camps flooded, six dead as heavy rains hit Lebanon, Turkey [Twitter]
Refugee camps flooded, six dead as heavy rains hit Lebanon, Turkey [Twitter]

Flooding in Lebanon and Turkey has left refugees dead after heavy rains hit the region and swamped refugee camps.

Videos shared by member of the Syrian Negotiations Committee Hadi Albahra, reportedly from refugee camps near the Lebanese border town of Arsal, show the ground completely flooded, with tents and belongings destroyed.

The weather conditions have made scores homeless once again, with many abandoning their drenched tents, mattresses and blankets entirely.

Heavy rains also swept across the north of Syria near the Turkish border, causing substantial damage in the Deir Ballut camp in the Aleppo governate that is managed by Turkish authorities.

Anadolu Agency also reported today that six Syrian refugees have died near the Turkish border town of Hatay as they tried to cross into Turkey despite the treacherous weather, and were subsequently swept away by flood water.

Syrians displaced inside and outside the country face worsened humanitarian conditions as winter approaches, with many severely lacking basic food and medical supplies. Neighbouring countries have also been accused of neglecting management of camps in an attempt to persuade Syrians to return to their homes that are once again under the jurisdiction of the regime.

Last week, the Lebanese government revealed that as many as 776 Syrian refugees returned voluntarily to their country in recent weeks, travelling on buses provided by the Syrian authorities and accompanied by General Security officers. However, many have refused the offer due to fear of arrest and torture by the regime upon their return.

The UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is also facing a budget shortage, and was forced to suspended food rations and aid for 8,000 Syrian families in September, as it looked to prioritise the most vulnerable

Last month, the UN’s refugee agency made an appeal for donations, stating that it needs $44 million of its previously announced $270 million total, to stop cash assistance activities ceasing in November. Overall, the agency supports more than 5.6 million Syrian refugees registered across Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, 2.6 million of whom are children.

This article was originally published by Middle East Monitor