Q&A for Refugees and Asylum Seekers from all countries except Syria Winter Assistance Support 2015/2016

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20.10.2015
Q&A for Refugees and Asylum Seekers from all countries except Syria Winter Assistance Support 2015/2016

1- How do I know if I’m eligible to receive winter support for this year by UNHCR?
If you are found to be eligible to receive winter assistance support, UNHCR will send you an SMS notification to your phone starting mid-October2015.
If you recently changed your phone number, please send immediately an SMS to UNHCR to notify your new number (see Q12 to know how).
2- What will I receive and how?
The assistance to be provided will vary depending on the need of the person and or family
found to be eligible and the area of residence in Lebanon.
In case you had been selected, you will be notified by UNHCR by SMS to your phone.
The assistance will be provided in cash through the UNHCR white card.
If you don’t have a white card, you will receive an SMS from UNHCR telling you where and when to go to receive it. Please present yourself at time and location indicated on the SMS.
3. If I live in Arsal, will I also receive a white card?
No. Please note that refugees living in Arsal that are found to be eligible will be receiving winter support items instead of the white card. UNHCR will send those eligible for winter in Arsal an SMS to inform them on where and when to go to receive assistance.
This is because there are limited ATM machines available in Arsal.
4. For how long the winter assistance will be provided?
UNHCR winter assistance will be provided from November 2015 until February 2016.
5. How does the UNHCR withe card looks like?
The white card looks like the image below:

6. I heard that some families will also receive some items to help them during the winter, like blankets and stoves, instead of receiving support through the white card. Is this is correct?
Yes, it is possible. Depending on the needs of those found to be eligible, refugees will receive winter assistance in cash through the white card or in kind with specific items. In some cases depending on the needs, some refugees may also receive both.
UNHCR will contact them directly by SMS and/or phone.
Please also note that refugees in Arsal will also receive winter support items instead of the white card.
7. How do I know the SMS is to be trusted?
You can know how to trust the SMS sent by UNHCR from two things:
- The SMS shows UNHCR as “sender”
- The file case number of the person eligible for winter assistance will be written at the beginning of the SMS
8. I received the SMS but I didn’t understand the instructions, can I ask support to other refugees or to refugee volunteers supporting UNHCR?
Yes, of course. You can ask a neighbour, friend or family member to help you understand the SMS sent to you by UNHCR. You can indeed approach a refugee volunteer supporting UNHCR as they can also help.
9. When and where will I receive the assistance?
Wait for the SMS that you will be receiving to know when and where the assistance will be provided.
If you recently changed your phone number, please send immediately an SMS to UNHCR to notify your new number (see Q12 to know how).
It may also be that your friend/family didn’t give you the message in case you are sharing your phone with other. Please make sure to check the messages received in your phone regularly.
10. If I’m not eligible, what can I do? Is there any organization other than UNHCR and partners providing winter support?
Maybe, but we are not informed of all assistance available. You may ask the local authorities and associations in your area of residence.
11. My family and I are planning to relocate from our current residence to a colder area; will this help to receive assistance?
Indeed you can relocate if you and your family have the intention to do so. However, you will not receive winter support only because you relocated as the assessment for those found to be eligible for the winter support was done taking into consideration the area of residence at the time of the assessment.
If you relocate to another area, please approach or call the UNHCR Centre close to your residence in order to update your new address.

12. I changed my phone number, how will you contact me?
You should send an SMS to 70262656 by writing your file case number (mentioned in the UN paper), then the secure paper serial number (found at the back of the UN paper) and then your new phone number. Once your SMS is sent, you will receive an automatic reply from UNHCR within 24 hours confirming that UNHCR successfully updated your new phone number. You can also inform UNHCR staff or any humanitarian organization, but it will take longer to update your number in the UNHCR system.
UNHCR hotlines
North
- 76-421605 (Tuesday and Friday 12:30pm-3:30pm)
Beirut
-Reception (general information): 01-849201 (Monday to Friday 8:30am-4pm)
Bekaa
- General information: 76-611811 (Monday to Friday 8am-4pm)
Mount Lebanon
- 71-910349 (Monday to Friday 8am-4pm)
South
- General Information: 76-500370 (Monday-Friday 8:30am-4pm)
Tripoli
- Approach the UNHCR Centre, next to Rachid Karame (Monday to Friday 8am to 2pm)