Lebanon: what the ICRC is doing to help Syrian wounded and refugees

29-11-2012 Facts and Figures

Together with the Lebanese Red Cross, the ICRC has been helping refugees since the onset of the crisis in Syria.

Tens of thousands of Syrians have taken refuge in neighbouring Lebanon after fleeing the fighting. Some are injured and in need of medical attention. Others are simply exhausted and vulnerable. Most refugees could bring virtually nothing with them as they crossed the border.

"Most of the refugees arrive in Lebanon with very little. They need such basic essentials as food, hygiene items, mattresses, blankets, household equipment and cooking utensils, so that they can look after their families," said Jurg Montani, head of the ICRC delegation in Lebanon. "As time goes by and their numbers increase, they represent an increasingly heavy burden for host communities, and their conditions become increasingly difficult, especially with winter approaching."

The Lebanese government and its partners, including the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), are providing aid to the Syrian refugees, estimated at some 120,000.

"The ICRC steps in whenever and wherever others can't assist. Often, we are in a unique position to help refugees, thanks to our longstanding relationship with all Lebanese communities," added Mr Montani.

In addition to helping the Lebanese Red Cross emergency medical services assist Syrian casualties, the ICRC has distributed food and other aid to recently arrived refugees from Syria, including hundreds of Palestinian families who fled their camps in the country.

Since January 2012, the ICRC has:

  • helped the Lebanese Red Cross evacuate 1,573 Syrian casualties to Lebanese hospitals;
  • financed a temporary Lebanese Red Cross emergency facility in Ras Baalbeck, north-east Bekaa, to facilitate the evacuation of Syrian casualties to hospitals;
  • provided medical supplies for 10 facilities treating Syrian casualties;
  • provided post-operative and rehabilitation care for Syrian casualties at a number of medical facilities, and supplied those facilities with medicines, consumables and artificial limbs;
  • paid for over 100 severely injured refugees from Syria to receive treatment at five hospitals in Bekaa;
  • conducted four training sessions and workshops for over 90 health personnel who were treating Syrian casualties;
  • provided financial support for the Lebanese Red Cross blood bank, enabling it to respond to the increased demand for blood resulting from by the Syria crisis;
  • distributed food, mattresses, blankets, hygiene items, kitchen sets and other household items to around 23,250 refugees from Syria, including 4,630 Palestinians from Syrian camps;
  • provided supplies for local organizations that are helping new refugees arriving from Syria.


Syrian refugees receive aid from the ICRC. 

Masharih Al-Qaa, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.
Syrian refugees receive aid from the ICRC.
© Reuters / M. Azakir

Related sections