Image from Caritas
Church aid workers are scrambling to find housing for hundreds of Syrian refugees who have fled to neighboring Lebanon because of ongoing violence between Syrian forces and armed rebels, reports the Catholic News Service.
About 200 families - more than 1,000 people overall - made their way to the border town of Qaa in the Bekaa Valley in northern Lebanon on Monday and were struggling in the region's near-freezing temperatures.
Father Simon Faddoul, president of Caritas Lebanon, told Catholic News Service yesterday that "women and children and the elderly are coming out in the cold, with nothing but the clothes on their backs, to seek safety."
"It's very cold, and they have nothing," he said. The UN refugee agency said that as many as 2,000 Syrians crossed into Lebanon March 5-6 to escape the violence that has claimed hundreds of lives.
Fr Faddoul said most of the refugees arrived on foot from areas near the besieged city of Homs.
Fr Faddoul estimated that about 40 of the newly arrived families were Christian, while the rest were Muslim.
"This has nothing to do with religion. Whenever there is suffering, we have to be there with them and to help them," he said.
Caritas Lebanon seeks shelter for refugees fleeing Syrian violence (Catholic News Service)
Caritas Internationalis - Lebanon Migration Center