Ross Mountain visits Syrian Refugees in the Bekaa & Akkar
The newly appointed United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Lebanon, Mr. Ross Mountain visited the Syrian tented settlements in the Bekaa area on Saturday February 8, 2014 and in Akkar on Tuesday February 11, 2014 in order to monitor the ongoing humanitarian and development efforts there.
Representatives from the humanitarian community (UNHCR, UNRWA, UNDP, WFP, OCHA, UNICEF and International NGOs) accompanied Mr. Mountain on his tour to the Bekaa in addition to Ms. Ninette Kelley, UNHCR Resident Representative in Lebanon who was present on the tour to Akkar.
“I was shocked by the scale of the problem and the conditions in which the Syrian refugees were living,” said Mr. Mountain during his visit to the Bekaa “Lebanon is hosting over 900,000 Syrian Refugees of whom over 300,000 are in the Bekaa Valley.”
Mr. Mountain and the accompanying delegation visited classrooms for Syrian students in addition to a small clinic which was used for medical care. Toward the end of Mr. Mountain’s tour in the Bekaa, he stopped to say a few words to praise the people of the camp for their courage under difficult circumstances, as well as the host community for their generosity.
The delegation also visited the area of Akkar in North Lebanon, where they stopped at the Women's Association charity center and Arc En Ciel Center. The tour included the villages of Machta Hammoud and Majdel in Wadi Khaled, where they met with different Syrian refugee families.
At the end of the tour, Mr. Mountain said, “I’ve had a fruitful day in Akkar, taking into consideration the efforts put into the Syrian refugee crisis and in view of the many projects that are being developed with the refugees which will also benefit the people of the local communities in this region as a whole."