7/16/13 Syria’s children deserve chance to be kids again

Source: CNN

By Lucy Liu, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: A UNICEF ambassador since 2004, Lucy Liu recently traveled to the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon to visit children made homeless by the conflict in neighboring Syria. According to UNICEF, more than 4,000 Syrians flee into Lebanon each day, half of them children. The country hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees in the world, and although it has kept its borders open, it won’t permit formal refugee camps.

Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (CNN) — In my nine years as a UNICEF ambassador, I’ve been to camps for people displaced by conflict. Though hardly luxurious, they usually have some kind of structure: a water source, latrines, even schools.

In Lebanon, even the most basic services are hard to come by as the small country staggers from the flow of refugees from its larger neighbor. The places I saw had no toilets, no clean water sources, no places to shower and no areas for cooking. Cases of painful scabies, lice and fleas are on the rise.

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