BEIRUT, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Deputy High Commissioner Kelly T. Clements, expressed Tuesday her solidarity with Lebanese host communities and more than one million Syrian refugees in the country, ahead of the onset of winter.

According to a release by the UNHCR, Clements, who is on a three-day visit to Lebanon, said during a stop at a collective shelter hosting refugee families in Koura, north Lebanon "there are acute vulnerabilities in the refugee population in Lebanon, and as winter approaches, it's important that an action plan to alleviate hardship is in place."

"The focus of UNHCR this year is on the provision of winter assistance to help refugees and Lebanese families survive the cold season. For them, meeting winter needs including fuel, warm clothes and nutritious meals is often prohibitive," she added.

According to preliminary findings from a 2016 survey by UN agencies, over 70 percent of registered refugees continue to live under the poverty line of USD 3.84 a day, with 52 percent living in extreme poverty.

The study found 34 percent of refugee households to be moderately food insecure, compared to 23 percent a year earlier. The study also found that 54 percent of refugees are in need of continuous support to upgrade their shelters to meet minimum standards.

"It's reassuring to know that every family in need will be receiving the assistance required to go through the cold months ahead," Clements stressed.

In Lebanon, in addition to cash assistance, winter interventions by UNHCR and partners also aim to scale up shelter improvements, from graveling and enhancing drainage in informal settlements, to weatherproofing insecure dwellings such as the collective shelter that Clements visited in Koura.

Clements met with representatives of the Lebanese Government on Monday and is scheduled to visit south Lebanon on Wednesday, where she will meet refugee women at the Kfar Sir Social Development Centre in Nabatiyeh and attend a homework support group - a recent initiative by UNHCR to help keep refugees in school.

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