UNICEF Lebanon and Anera’s Response in South Lebanon
Funded by the UNICEF Swiss Natcom
Chill winter winds have arrived in Lebanon concurrently with the cross-border in southern Lebanon. Thousands of civilians are finding themselves displaced from their homes, forced to seek refuge from the violence of an undeclared war. For many displaced families lacking adequate shelter and winter gear, the cold weather adds to their misery.
In the wake of recent events that have displaced several thousand families, Anera is working to support some of the most impacted in the city of Tyre and surrounding towns. Of the 46,000 driven from their homes, more than 13,000 people have sought refuge in the area according to the latest report from the International Organization for Migration. The bitter seasonal cold deepens the hardships of people already grappling with the harsh realities of displacement.
Mohammad Kaddoura, Anera's south area manager, describes how students of the UNICEF-supported vocational sewing course with Anera, part of our Youth Empowerment, Education & Employability program supported by UNICEF Lebanon were engaged in the production of winter clothing for all ages to be distributed to internally displaced people from border villages in South Governorate.
“The clothes are not only well-made and brand new but designed to keep people warm.”
These young artisans, driven by solidarity, spent 40 days meticulously fashioning winter clothing collections. A total of 2,721 kits materialized from their collective effort.
“The clothes are not only well-made and brand new but designed to keep people warm,” Kaddoura says “with sizes suitable for ages from infancy to adulthood."
"Out of the 2,721 kits made, 1,431 have already been distributed, and the remainder are poised for distribution as needed."
Badr, a young mother of a 7-month-old infant from the bordering Ramya village in the Bint Jbeil district of South Governorate, tells us their story of terror.
“We were terrified. The aircraft was right above our house and we heard the shelling nearby,” she says. “We immediately left without anything we don’t know if the next strike is going to hit us.”
“My baby immediately started crying non-stop when he heard the airstrikes, he didn’t need to know what it was to recognize it as a threat.”
Badr and her family fled, with the clothes they had on, to a relative’s home in Qana and then were offered to stay at a vacant small apartment. The three of them share one mattress as they couldn’t retrieve any of their possessions from home since they fled one month ago as danger took over.
“The baby is used to his warm bed and clothes at home. As soon as we arrived here, he got a fever from the cold weather at night.” Badr explains, “I am so grateful for the winter clothes we got from Anera and UNICEF, they will keep him warm and healthy.”
“I am so grateful for the winter clothes we got from UNICEF and Anera, they will keep him warm and healthy.”
Badr is only one out of nearly 46,000 stories of displacement in southern Lebanon, each with different details and narratives, but every single one of them shares the terror, fear and instability with the rest.
In a simple and prompt initiative, Anera’s response has swiftly guided already existing efforts to provide winter kits that will bring essential warmth to those who most need it.
As a commitment to ongoing support, Anera and UNICEF remain steadfast in standing by the side of displaced individuals, ready to offer practical assistance and care and encourage peers to act similarly, utilize existing resources and direct the efforts where it is most needed. Our teams’ dedication ensures that those facing the harsh realities of displacement find a reliable ally in their journey toward safety and warmth.
The South Governorate of Lebanon is a beautiful place with white beaches, archeological ruins, bustling old souks, fertile fields of citrus and banana trees, and a deep history. Its residents are from different religions: Shia and Sunni Muslims, Druze, Eastern Orthodox, Maronite, Protestant, and Greek Catholic Christians. Its biggest cities are also the third and fourth largest in the country, Saida and Tyre.