Syria's vicious civil war has caused a humanitarian crisis on a huge scale. Thousands are fleeing the country in search of safety every day. More than 1 million refugees have crossed into neighbouring Lebanon - more than to any other country. After dangerous journeys people are settling wherever they can, and they are in desperate need of health care. For many, Merlin will be their lifeline. We will be there for vulnerable new arrivals, as well as refugees, to provide basic health care.
Lebanon is a nation of 4 million people which has already received at least 1 million Syrian refugees due to the Syrian Civil War. So far only about half of the refugees are officially registered. Without registration their chances of access to basic health care are greatly reduced, and even for those who are registered there are nowhere near enough health services to support them. In addition, poor sanitation and hygiene conditions mean the increased risk of communicable diseases.
Merlin will provide emergency response health care for Syrian refugees in Lebanon by working to find new arrivals (both registered and unregistered) through our partners and community leaders so that when groups of refugees arrive we are the first to know, and can respond immediately. The focus will be on the most in need/vulnerable (pregnant women, children, people with disabilities and older people). This will entail health/hygiene education and information sharing between help agencies.
By ensuring we get to new arrivals quickly, we'll diagnose, treat and prevent diseases before people deteriorate further, improving their health immediately and reducing the strain on health services in the long term.
Our health and hygiene education program will help people stay healthy and defend against preventable diseases in the harsh and basic environment they have been forced into.