“Argentina is doing its part responsibly, trying to make a contribution, like a drop in the ocean, to support refugees,” said Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra today during a visit to the al-Jarrah Syrian refugee camp, in the Bekaa region, Lebanon, where the White Helmets Commission is carrying out a Humanitarian Mission.
“It is terrible to see children and women suffering, undernourished. In spite of the distance, Argentine feels very close to them. There are more than one million Syrian and Lebanese people in our country and this makes us feel very close to them. Talking to the women was also deeply moving. The discouragement and the hopelessness of these people who have been in the same situation for 4 or 5 years are really shocking,” Malcorra stated. “We can contribute to solving the refugee problem responsibly from anywhere in the world. It is a responsibility shared by all,” she underlined.
The Argentine Foreign Minister added that “this is an important moment in which the world needs to come together, to assume responsibility and explore all avenues that may lead to peace, through dialogue. This is a call upon the world to find a solution to the Syrian issue from a political perspective.”
The Argentine humanitarian mission that began working in Lebanon last week is of a pluridisciplinary nature and is coordinated by the White Helmets Commission, officials from various government secretariats and five volunteer experts in logistics. Their actions follow the instructions given by Foreign Minister Malcorra, based on the principle of non-indifference of States. Minister Malcorra visited the camp with the President of the White Helmets Commission, Alejandro Daneri; the National Undersecretary for Migrations of Argentina, Julián Curi; the Argentine Ambassador to the Lebanese Republic, Ricardo Larriera; and representatives of CONARE (the Argentine Committee for Refugees), UNHCR and Scholas Occurrentes, as well as Lebanese officials dealing with social issues.
Since its arrival on the ground, the White Helmets Commission has implemented several actions, such as the installation of sanitary tents for medical examination, a shock room, a temporary hospitalization room with technological equipment and a drug deposit. A second line of work is aimed at community strengthening and includes workshops aimed at meeting the requirements and needs of Syrian refugees. For this reason, and taking into account that many refugees have suffered injuries or burns, first aid courses have been offered, as well as courses on fire extinguisher safety and use; psychological and social support and counselling; and on the use of pharmaceutical drugs and water purification.
The White Helmets Commission of the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have agreed to appoint a voluntary expert in water and sanitation, as well as a voluntary expert in gender-based violence, who will join the UNHCR Mission scheduled to stayon the ground for a month. Argentina has also sent community supplies for the provisioning and accommodation of more than 100 families, including tents, blankets, personal hygiene kits, cooking sets and water purification tablets to treat more than 800,000 litres of water to be used by 550 persons for a period over a year.
Press Release No. 141/16
Press Office: 4819-7375 / 8296 / 7388
Originally published at https://www.cancilleria.gob.ar/en/news/releases/malcorra-visited-syrian-refugee-camp-where-argentine-white-helmets-commission-carries