On a cold and wet spring day in a rural community in north Lebanon, near Tripoli, a woman in sandals greets her visitors and immediately apologizes for the smell. Her family has found refuge in a shelter on a chicken farm. They are staying in what was previously used as a shed for animals.
“I don’t want to be an unheard refugee, feeling so weak, not doing anything.”
With few options, Syrian refugees require assistance as they await return to destroyed homes
Two years ago Hayat’s* life was turned upside down when her husband was taken by authorities. She has not heard from him since. At the time, they were living with their four daughters in his family’s village near Kobane, Syria.
Play time with cousins, math and Arabic studies, a favorite electric bike: Sara*, 12, remembers her life in Syria before the conflict that has caused four million refugees to flee the country, and another seven million civilians to be displaced.
Humanitarian agencies recognize that women are particularly vulnerable in conflicts, especially when unaccompanied by a male family member. Women are especially at risk when male family members have been killed, are missing, or in Mariam’s case, the husband deliberately abandons his family.
Emmanuel Lan Chun Yang is the Regional Emergency Coordinator for Asia Pacific. He was deployed as part of the emergency response team for the Nepal earthquake as Field Team Leader in the district of Gorkha where the epicenter of the earthquake was located.