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Aid group: Syrian refugees face dire health risks

Monday - 5/20/2013, 3:40am  ET

In this Saturday, May 18, 2013 citizen journalism image provided by Qusair Lens which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrians inspecting the rubble of damaged buildings due to government airstrikes, in Qusair, Homs province, Syria. The town of Qusair has been besieged for weeks by regime troops and pro-government gunmen backed by the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group. The siege is part of a withering offensives forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad have been pushing in recent weeks to regain control of the towns and villages along the Lebanese frontier. (AP Photo/Qusair Lens)

BEIRUT (AP) -- An international aid organization is appealing for more funds to help Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, saying warmer weather will increase health risks due to lack of shelter, water and basic sanitation.

Oxfam says it needs $53 million dollars to improve access to water and proper sanitation for Syrian refugees. So far the aid group has received $10.6 million dollars.

The Britain-based group said in a statement Monday that diarrhea and skin infections have already been noted among refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. The two countries host the bulk of 1.5 million Syrians who have fled the civil war at home, seeking shelter in neighboring countries.

Oxfam says it needs the funds quickly as temperatures are expected to soar in the region in the coming weeks.


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