Meanwhile, the families camped in the field are receiving aid from local people who let them fill jugs of water and use their showers. Women in the camp use an irrigation canal to launder the few clothes the families had brought, and some children walked around barefoot, despite the rainstorms and ankle-deep mud. At night, temperatures are near freezing.
“A man brought us bread and said we could pay him at the end of the month,” Abu Jassim said. “I don’t know how we will.”
The people in the camp said they didn’t know where to go to register for assistance with the U.N., which is providing aid to refugees in Lebanon along with other groups. Informed they would have to travel to the city of Tripoli, about 20 miles away, to register, they said they had no means to do so.
Winter also has made life more difficult for those displaced inside Syria, who the U.N. has said might number more than 2 million. Another 2 million are in critical need of aid, according to the U.N.
At the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan, which is administered by the United Nations and other groups and is home to more than 50,000 Syrians, flooding led to riots this week.
Adrian Edwards, the spokesman for the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Refugees, said at press conference in Geneva on Friday that the UNHCR had delivered gravel and installed culverts on Thursday in an attempt to prevent future flooding.
The shortage of resources for refugees has prompted some to return to Syria. In the rebel-held city of Qusayr, about seven miles from the Lebanese border, most of the population of about 35,000 fled last year as fighting ravaged the city. Now some are returning, even though to reach Qusayr without passing through government or hostile militia checkpoints can mean hours of traversing rugged terrain on foot.
“About 60 percent of the residents of Qusayr have returned because they ran out of money,” said Abdel Raheem Sayar, an opposition leader from Qusayr.