As harsh weather hits, MAP distributes essential winter supplies in Lebanon

This winter, harsher than expected conditions have hit Lebanon, with temperatures as low as -5°C. Responding to the freezing temperatures, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), in partnership with UNICEF, Najdeh Association and the Women’s Programs Association, supported the delivery of essential ‘winter kits’ to Palestinian refugee children.

The Bekaa Valley and Baalbeck, more than 1000m above sea level, are extremely cold in winter, with average temperatures of -1°C. Since December, MAP and our local partners, Najdeh and the Women’s Programs Association, were in these areas coordinating the distribution of over 2,600 winter clothes kits for Palestinian children aged between three and 14 years old. The kits contained coats, pyjamas, jumpers, scarves, winter trousers, shirts, hats, gloves, and waterproof boots.

After a recent distribution, staff from Najdeh explained the harsh conditions facing Palestinian families in the Bekaa Valley and Baalbeck, and the impact of these winter kits on their lives:

“It was morning when we were at the UNRWA school [in the Saadanyel Palestinian refugee gathering in Bekaa], to coordinate the distribution of winter clothes for children. It was just 2°C. The night before it had dipped below zero.” 

“Because we also live here, we know how hard the situation affecting these families is. Even before the current crisis families were fighting hard to afford essentials for daily life. Now we’re seeing that some of those who had jobs before [Lebanon’s current financial crisis] are now unemployed, and others are working for half salaries.”

“Parents told us that our support was a huge relief, allowing them to save money they would have spent on winter clothes and instead use it for other essential items for their children. As staff working here and in regular contact with the people, we know that many of the families would have been unable to even buy the clothes.”

“One thing comes to mind when walking into that school; it is this feeling of bliss I had, when seeing school boys and girls warm while walking around the place, wearing the winter clothes their parents received yesterday at our centre. It made us happy as a team to see that this support had arrived at the right time.”

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