Sports For Peace
Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011 and to date, more than a million Syrians have been internally displaced and more than one million fled to the neighboring countries. In Lebanon, the number of displaced has increased with the escalation of the conflict. By May 22, 2013 more than 395,000 displaced have been registered with the UNHCR, with more than 33% aged between 5 and 17 years old. More than 42% found refuge in the northern part of the country not counting the many awaiting registration in the north alone.
In addition and within this deteriorating situation, minority groups are under-served by the international response. Palestinian refugees from Syria are to be served by the United Nation Relief Works Agency (UNRWA). UNRWA in Lebanon is under-funded and ill-equipped to manage a large, rapid influx of Palestinian refugees from Syria. By early May 2013, more than 53,000 Palestinian, out of which 27% are between the age of 7 and 17 years, displaced from Syria have registered with UNRWA, with an approximate of 15% in and around the camps in the northern areas of Nahr El Bared, Beddawi and surroundings. The flow is increasing and hundreds continue to cross the eastern border of Lebanon on daily basis.
Several recent socio-economic studies have shown that social cohesion in the northern communities has been deeply affected by the Syrian crisis. Political and socio-economic historic frictions between Lebanese and Syrians and Lebanese and Palestinians have increased with tensions over space, resources and work.
Within its long time experience and presence in the Palestinian camps and its comprehensive program to support non-formal education through the integration of life skills and sports activities, ANERA has proposed to expand into a larger network to benefit more youth from the Lebanese and Syrian communities in the north.