The 25-year-old Nasmiyah is bending over her three-day-old baby in Lebanon. She wraps the blanket more tightly around the child and feeds him from a bottle. The Lebanese winter is cold for a mother living in makeshift accommodation even though Syrian refugees receive clothing and blankets helping them to cope with the low temperatures. Nasmiyah fled the Syrian war to neighbouring Lebanon a few years ago.
The war in Syria has already been going on since 2011. In the end of 2017 there were 6,3 million internally displaced Syrians and nearly five million were living as refugees in the neighbouring countries. Both the refugees and the communities accommodating them need support. The regional assistance is coordinated by the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR and the UN Development Programme UNDP. In 2017, a total of 2,75 million people received food aid, 3,8 million people had access to medical care and 586 000 children received psychosocial help. One million children went to school. Unicef repaired 105 schools, a third of all the repaired schools, in Syria with the Finnish support. Finland supports the work of UN organizations and Finnish non-governmental organizations in countries accommodating Syrian refugees through humanitarian aid and development cooperation.
Photo: UNHCR / Diego Ibarra Sánchez, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta