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Syrian Family Travels from Lebanon to Italy in 1st Humanitarian Airlift

A 7-year-old Syrian girl suffering from a rare form of cancer arrived in Italy on Thursday, the first of an estimated 1,000 refugees who are being brought here on humanitarian grounds in a pilot project aimed at dissuading people from embarking on deadly sea crossings. Little Falak al Hourani, her parents and 6-year-old brother landed on a commercial flight at Rome's Leonardo Da Vinci airport thanks to the "humanitarian corridor" project launched by the Rome-based Catholic Sant'Egidio Community and the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy. The two groups lobbied the Italian government to grant 1,000 humanitarian visas for particularly…

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Maeva Bambuck

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Syrian refugee teachers help keep kids taught

In the refugee camp in eastern Lebanon where Fatima Khaled lives with her two daughters, only three children found a spot in the local school. So when parents found out that Khaled was an educator, they begged her to teach their children. An unemployed teacher who fled Damascus three years ago, Khaled could not find work in Lebanon. “I came here and tried to find a job, but no one would hire me,” she said. “Parents here suggested the idea. They told me I could teach and help the children.” Khaled, 30, has been teaching literacy and arithmetic for over…

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EU Ambassador Christina Lassen Meets Syrian Refugees in Akkar

Ambassador Christina Lassen, head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, visited Wednesday the northern region of Akkar to meet with Syrian refugees in Kouachra, announced the EU on a statement. The visit was organized together with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an important partner of the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO). During her visit, Lassen discussed the current difficult conditions of Syrian refugees in terms of legal status, protection, education, shelter, and access to livelihoods. The focus was on what the European Union can do best to assist and how, to ensure that humanitarian assistance to the…

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Syrian women refugees exploited: Amnesty

A new report released by Amnesty International Tuesday highlights how the lack of international funding for the Syrian crisis, coupled with Lebanese government regulations, is leading to the exploitation and abuse of women refugees in Lebanon. The report, titled “‘I want a safe place’: Refugee women from Syria uprooted and unprotected in Lebanon,” comes ahead of a major donor conference scheduled to take place in London on Feb. 4. The report found that a lack of funding for aid distribution was leaving gaps in crucial assistance programs. As a result, around 70 percent of Syrian refugee families are living significantly…

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Azzi : Nous refusons que l’aide internationale soit liée à l’intégration des réfugiés dans le monde

« Pour le peuple libanais, le fait de lier le versement de l'aide aux réfugiés à leur intégration dans le monde du travail est une question fondamentale puisque 25 % des Libanais sont au chômage, parmi lesquels 36 % sont des jeunes », a affirmé hier le ministre du Travail, Sejaan Azzi, dans le cadre d'un entretien accordé à l'Agence nationale d'information (Ani). M. Azzi a rappelé que les ressortissants syriens font d'ores et déjà partie de la population active « sans l'intervention de quiconque, ni des Nations unies ni des organisations internationales ». Et d'ajouter : « Nous avons besoin d'eux et nous devons leur accorder des…

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Amnesty: Syria Refugee Women in Lebanon Face Abuse, Exploitation

Tightened restrictions and plummeting international aid have left Syrian refugee women in Lebanon more vulnerable to exploitation including sexual harassment, rights group Amnesty International said in a report on Tuesday. Released ahead of a key donor conference for Syria in London this week, the report urges greater financial support and more resettlement opportunities for Syrian refugees from the international community. Amnesty said 70 percent of the more than one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon were living well below the local poverty line. Those refugees who receive assistance have faced cuts as donor funds to the United Nations have consistently fallen…

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UK to take in some refugee children separated from families

Britain will take in an unspecified number of migrant children who have been separated from their parents by conflicts in Syria and other countries, the government said Thursday. Officials will work with U.N. refugee agency UNHCR to identify youngsters who will be eligible to take up residence in Britain, the Home Office announced. Prime Minister David Cameron announced in September that 20,000 refugees from camps on Syria's borders would be brought in by 2020. More than 1,000, half of them children, have so far arrived. But Britain has opted out of European Union quotas for taking migrants and dispersing them…

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Elearning centers to be set-up inside Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon

An innovative elearning solution was launched by ITWORX Education in September for underserved and underprivileged Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. 80% of those children are not enrolled in school. ITWORX Education is specialized in education technology solutions, adressing the needs of K12 education institutions worldwide. Its main shareholder is EuroMena, a private equity fund established in 2006 with the participation of the European Investment Bank and Proparco, which has since invested in over two dozen companies across Africa and Levant. We asked ITWORX Education's CEO, Hatem Sallam, a few question on this specific project in Lebanon. iloubnan.info: Practically, how does a…

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Philip Issa

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Derbas: Lebanon rebuffs U.K. call to ease refugee restrictions

The Lebanese government will spurn a U.K. request to loosen its restrictions on Syrian labor, Social Affairs Minister Rachid Derbas told The Daily Star in an interview Monday ahead of the third annual Syria Donors Conference. “Lebanon has been unstinting in its efforts to meet its neighborly and humanitarian obligations,” Derbas said. “But Lebanon is not a warehouse for people. Lebanon is weak and poor. And if this country has been able to endure [the refugee crisis] for such a long period, well this is one of the miracles of creation.” With the London donor conference set to begin Feb.…

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