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February 14, 2018

Reception center in Lebanon serves as lifeline for Syrian refugees

Tripoli reception center in Lebanon

Last month, USA for UNHCR’s Director of Digital Marketing, Rami Azzam, traveled to Lebanon and saw firsthand how donations to USA for UNHCR are making a direct impact on the lives of Syrian refugees. Here is his account from the reception center that he visited in Tripoli, Lebanon.

When Syrian refugees enter the Tripoli reception center in northern Lebanon, they are welcomed into a clean, safe, and organized facility where they can register new births, access health and counseling services, update their contact information and receive vital cash assistance.

Each day the Tripoli reception center welcomes between 500 and 1,000 people.

UNHCR staff at Tripoli access refugees’ records using iris scanning technology. Iris scanning is a secure and cost-effective way for UNHCR to track which families receive cash assistance and helps staff distribute money accordingly.

Iris scanning at Tripoli reception center in Lebanon

Unfortunately, due to funding shortfalls, only a third of extremely vulnerable refugees in northern Lebanon receive cash assistance. This money allows refugee families to buy food and pay rent, put money back into the local economy and offers them the dignity of choice.

But cash assistance is not the only service refugees can access at the Tripoli reception center. The center also provides refugees essential medical care, such as measles and polio vaccinations, and vitamins supplements for children under the age of 18.

The reception center is also the hub for counseling and social services. UNHCR protection officers and the Lebanese Ministry for Social Affairs staff are on site to provide Syrian refugees with resources and guidance on everything from educational services to legal aid, often referring refugees to outside organizations that can meet their immediate needs.

The Tripoli reception center is a saving grace for hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.

This center exists thanks, in part, to USA for UNHCR donors. However, humanitarian efforts for Syrian refugees in Lebanon are only 55% funded. Your donation could help provide cash assistance to thousands of families in need. You can help by becoming a monthly donor today.