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s1.reutersmedia.netAs the number of Palestinians from Syria in Lebanon surpasses 50,000, ANERA (American Near East Refugee Aid) is expanding its emergency relief program, thanks to a second grant from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), ANERA said in a press release. The new $250,000 OCHA grant will be supplemented by $300,000 from ANERA's own funds and will focus more on women's needs.

ANERA is working with its Lebanese partner Najdeh to distribute more than 6,000 quilts, 6,000 food and clothing vouchers, 6,000 personal kits, 1,550 family kits, hundreds of baby kit as well as dignity kits for women in Shatila and Burj el Barajneh camps located in the Beirut area.

ANERA was among the first to survey refugee needs in the camps to provide guidelines for emergency relief efforts. The assessment, conducted earlier this year, showed that 86% of Palestinians from Syria lack food and 59% of families live crammed into a single room with few basic amenities.

In March 2013, a grant from OCHA helped ANERA implement a first emergency relief campaign. But more action was needed since more refugees are flooding into Lebanon and 90% of adult men among them are unemployed and unable to support their families.

ANERA's innovative approach is adapted to conditions in the overcrowded camps: In addition to 1,550 refugee families, 530 host families also will benefit from distribution program. "Support should go to them too, because helping our hosts helps us as well," suggests Suleiman from Al Bas camp.

Dima Zayat, ANERA's health program manager in Lebanon says particular attention is being given to the role of women as the family's main supporter. "Women and children account for 74% of the Palestinians refugees from Syria. A number of families have lost a father or husband. A woman often spends her income on whatever she has on the family first."

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