HelpAge partners with Handicap International to aid older and disabled Syrian Refugees
It's been three years since the war began in Syria; a war which has been described as the defining refugee crisis of our era.
Currently, around 72,000 Syrian refugees are aged over 60. In conflict situations, older and disabled people are among the most vulnerable, with specific needs that must be taken into account. It’s time to recognize the needs of this invisible population. That is why we have launched a joint report with Handicap International, to highlight the number and needs of Syrian refugees living with impairment, injury and chronic disease.
Crossing the border from Syria into Lebanon and Jordan would be the most harrowing journey most of us would ever dream of making. What would you expect to be waiting for you on the other side of the border? Would you hope for food, shelter, healthcare after your ordeal? As organizations working together to work for and with older people and people with impairments in Jordan and Lebanon, we have completed a new study about that "what if." Arriving from Syria with an impairment is not as far-fetched as we might hope: 30% of refugees in Lebanon and Jordan have some kind of impairment. 5.7% have a significant injury. The vast majority of these were sustained as a consequence of the war in Syria.
This can work against already-struggling refugees in more ways: with these impairments, even getting registered as a refugee to be entitled to services can be a challenge. 28% of older people from Syria are not registered, compared with 12% of younger people overall. Without registration, they are unlikely to be aware about what services are there to support them, making it almost impossible to receive aid.
What you can do
This suffering is unnecessary and unwarranted. Simple data collection and analysis brings these invisible people to light. Make your voice heard and let others know that you support the hundreds of thousands of older and impaired Syrian refugees by tweeting:
@HelpAge_USA & @HI_UnitedStates’ report shows that it’s time to stand with the older and vulnerable #refugees of the #SyriaCrisis http://bit.ly/RrSLkk
Only 1% of humanitarian #aid goes to #older and #disabled people. Their plight must not be forgotten #SyriaCrisis http://bit.ly/RrSLkk
Did you know that over one quarter of older #refugees are not registered, making it almost impossible for them to receive #aid? #SyriaCrisis http://bit.ly/RrSLkk
What we’re doing
HelpAge and Handicap International have been working together over the past three years to support the most vulnerable Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, delivering essential services including shelter, protection and basic aid. We're helping 1,900 of the most vulnerable older refugees in Jordan and Lebanon with cash transfers - which give older people and their families the means to acquire essentials like medicine and food, with a degree of independence and dignity. We're also working with other NGOs and organizations in Jordan and Lebanon, to make sure that aid is as age-friendly as possible.