UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow is in Lebanon to meet refugees from the conflict in Syria, as the needs and numbers of those fleeing continue to rise. She is blogging from the field, and you can follow her posts at http://unicef.tumblr.com/. She will also be participating in a Twitter chat tomorrow, Tuesday, January 15, at 1:00 P.M. EST. You can join the conversation by using the hashtag #AskMia. Ms. Farrow’s Twitter account is @MiaFarrow.
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow views flood damage in Haiti in 2008. ©UNICEF/NYHQ2008-0738/Roger LeMoyneMs. Farrow’s visit comes just days after terrible storms battered the region, bringing flooding and freezing temperatures and adding to the difficulties already faced by thousands of refugees. Most are living in makeshift shelters and tents or with host families who are often struggling themselves. To date, over 600,000 people have fled the violence and insecurity in Syria for neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. Lebanon is hosting the largest number of refugees, with almost 200,000 people registered or awaiting registration. About half of the refugees are children. During her two-day visit, Ms. Farrow will travel to two locations close to the Syrian border, Wadi Khaled in the North and the Bekaa valley. She will speak with both the refugees and host families and visit UNICEF-supported child-friendly spaces, where children who have witnessed the horrors of the conflict receive psychosocial support and counseling. Many of those who fled came with very few belongings, and Ms. Farrow will also help distribute winter clothing.