A fire has broken out in a Syrian refugee camp near Brital village, in the Baalbek-Hermel Governorate of Lebanon, on Monday night, injuring at least five refugees.
According to eyewitnesses, the fire started in the “Crescent Camp” yesterday evening, engulfing approximately 40 tents and igniting gas cylinders used for cooking food. Wind contributed to the fire raging for two hours before firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze.
Camp residents were able to evacuate, though five people were injured, including three women who suffered asphyxiation. Two were hospitalized, according to the state National News Agency.
A fire occurred previously in the refugee camp in the Benin area of Akkar, in north Lebanon, which resulted in the destruction of three tents and two people being injured. Dozens of tents were burned in the “al- Miniyeh” camp in Akkar city, following a dispute between Syrians and Lebanese residents. Lebanese youths may have set fire to a Syrian camp in the town of al-Muhammara, also in the Akkar governorate.
Around 1.5 million Syrian refugees currently live in Lebanon, spread across camps and residential areas, according to official Lebanese estimates. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says that the number of registered refugees in the country is approximately 900,000.
Most camps complain about the decline of the food aid and children’s clothes provided by charities due to Covid-19 and the economic crisis in Lebanon.
Lebanese officials highlight the economic and social repercussions of hosting refugees, especially difficult as the country continues to suffer both the worst economic crisis since the civil war (1975-1990) and the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to the port explosion in the country’s capital last August.
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) had said that decision-makers across the world should, instead of simply watching the tragedy of the Syrian refugees unfold – one which they had a hand in making – take urgent, practical measures to provide all the necessary tents, food, medicine, and fuel to those in need.
In a statement, AOHR UK has said that blame should be directed primarily to the League of Arab States, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and the governments of the Arab and Islamic countries, all of which left the Syrian people as victims to a bloody regime – backed by Iran and Russia – and did nothing to stop the bloodshed, thereby creating the refugee crisis we see today.