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United Nations voices concern for refugees caught in winter storm in Lebanon

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United Nations voices concern for refugees caught in winter storm in Lebanon

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It is called Alexa a storm sweeping across Syria and Lebanon bringing in high winds and freezing temperatures. It is the start of what is predicted to be the worst winter for many years.

The United Nations said it is “extremely concerned” for the plight of the 2.2 million refugees living outside Syria and the millions more displaced inside the country.

In Lebanon humanitarian groups are struggling to meet overwhelming needs.

Syrian refugee Jined Al-Hussein explained his plight. “It is cold in the rain and we have nothing. Hunger and cold weather and there is nothing. I have been here for a week.”

Abdel-Karim Alibrahim is from Aleppo and such are the conditions he says he would prefer to return there.

“The tents blew about letting the rain and snow come in on the little children. We would have preferred to stay in Syria with the shelling.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is prioritising aid to refugees at high altitude where the snow is at its worst and said as long as people are in tents there is only so much they can do.

The Lebanese government has decided not to house the hundreds of thousands who live in tented camps due to local concerns they will remain in the country permanently.