Winter Assistance Helps Syrian Refugee Families In Zaatari Camp
© UNHCR/Yousef Alhariri
Location icon Middle East, Afghanistan and Ukraine

“If I had not received the winter cash assistance, I would have been helpless”

As temperatures plunge in the Northern Hemisphere, UNHCR is stepping up support for refugees.

Millions of refugees and displaced people, from Ukraine to Lebanon, are bracing for a bitterly cold winter and need your support.

In the coming weeks, temperatures will fall below freezing and families sleeping outside or in damp, flimsy shelters are at risk of hypothermia. Without proper shelter, warm clothing, heating and access to healthcare, displaced families will struggle to survive the cold.

For many Syrian refugees, this will be their twelfth winter far from home. Many will struggle to afford shelter, food or medicine.

Fandia, 74, is the sole provider for her orphaned grandchildren. After fleeing Syria, she found safety at Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, which hosts 80,000 refugees. But in winter, freezing rains flood the camp’s makeshift homes. Fandia struggles to make repairs to her shelter, or buy essentials such as gas and warm clothing, before the wet weather comes.

“My concern is to provide warmth for the children and money for the expenses. There are a lot of needs,” she says.

Fandia receives winter cash assistance from UNHCR at Za’atari Camp.
© UNHCR/Yousef Alhariri
Fandia receives winter cash assistance from UNHCR at Za’atari Camp. This was a lifeline for her family last winter.

Last winter, cash assistance made all the difference to Fandia, who says she couldn’t have survived without it.

“If I had not received the winter cash assistance, I would have been helpless,” she says. “I spent 100 Jordanian dinars [$216] on shelter maintenance. We paid our debts. And I bought a gas cylinder and paid for gas refill. We thank those who helped us for their support.”

The war in Ukraine has exacerbated Lebanon's economic woes, affecting Lebanese, refugee and migrant communities alike. Families are resorting to burning plastic shoes to stay warm, as they are cheaper than wood and fuel.

A family uses plastic shoes to light their stove to keep warm.
© UNHCR/Houssam Hariri
A family uses plastic shoes to light their stove and keep warm.

What is UNHCR doing?

UNHCR is racing to help as many families as possible before the worst of the weather sets in.

With your support, UNHCR is providing winter survival kits for vulnerable families, including blankets, plastic tarpaulins and gas cookers, as well as winter cash grants to help refugee families buy food, fuel and other essentials.  

Our humanitarian teams are doing everything possible to protect refugees like Fandia and her grandchildren. But we need your support.

Donate now to give families safety and warmth this winter.

Donate

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Winter Assistance Helps Syrian Refugee Families In Zaatari Camp
© UNHCR/Yousef Alhariri
Location icon
Middle East, Afghanistan and Ukraine

“If I had not received the winter cash assistance, I would have been helpless”

As temperatures plunge in the Northern Hemisphere, UNHCR is stepping up support to help refugees.

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