Ongoing political paralysis, a crippling economic crisis, Covid-19 and the knock-on effects of the Beirut explosion, continue to put Lebanon under immense pressure. The compounding crises have caused widespread poverty across population groups, impacting basic services and fuelling intercommunal tensions over scarce resources.
Lebanon remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita: an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, 31,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria and 175,000 Palestinian refugees from Lebanon. Nine out of ten Syrian refugee families now live in extreme poverty and over half of the refugee population is food insecure.
As the Lebanese government continues to oppose the creation of formal camps, refugees must pay for their own accommodation, making it increasingly difficult for refugees who have virtually no access to income. Over half of the refugee population continues to live in conditions below humanitarian standards. The government of Lebanon has become very explicit in its position that returns of refugees to Syria should be prioritised given its own unprecedented crises.
People we helped in Lebanon in 2020
NRC Lebanon works across the country in informal tented settlements (ITS), urban areas and Palestinian refugee camps, including through partnerships with other NGOs. During Covid-19, activities across sectors have been adjusted to remote or blended modalities to curb the spread of the virus.
We run programmes for Syrian refugees at our community centres, NRC alternative learning spaces, support programming in Lebanese public schools and in schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In response to the Beirut explosion, we set up two education centres in Beirut to provide socio-emotional support to children affected by the explosion.
Our education activities include:
- supporting access to (non-formal) schooling and school retention
- training teachers, including in Better Learning Programme techniques
- vocational training, activity-based short learning courses, blended IT and life skills trainings for out-of-school youth and young adults
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
Our ICLA activities include:
- supporting access to civil documentation, including the registration of life events (e.g. birth, marriage), and legal residency
- conflict dispute resolution (CDR) including in the context of housing disputes and forced evictions
- legal assistance and representation for refugees through lawyers
- information provision on employment and housing land and property (HLP) rights
In 2020, we expanded our legal aid programme to support the Beirut emergency response with information provision, counselling and legal assistance on HLP rights. In addition, all repairs and cash for rent interventions were coupled with tenancy agreements to ensure security of tenure.
Shelter and settlements
Our shelter activities include:
- providing a minimum of 12 months of rent-free housing for Syrian refugees through the Occupancy Free of Charge (OFC) programme
- rehabilitation of Lebanese public schools
- emergency shelter interventions, including in response to extreme weather conditions
- cash for rent for vulnerable families
- shelter maintenance and upgrades
NRC’s shelter response has also been essential in response to immediate and longer terms shelter needs resulting from the Beirut explosion.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion
We work to expand water and sanitation services and improve hygiene practices across vulnerable population groups, including in Lebanese host communities. Our WASH programme has also been essential in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Lebanon.
Our WASH activities include:
- integrating adequate water, sewage, and sanitation facilities into our shelter interventions
- water and wastewater infrastructural interventions to increase clean water supply and improve wastewater management, at the individual and community level
- piloting greener water and wastewater systems
- creation of WASH committees in support of WASH infrastructure maintenance and services
- supporting municipalities with solid waste management and provision of training to community focal points on Covid-19
Emergency Response Unit
NRC Lebanon’s Emergency Response Unit (ERU) responds to emergencies throughout the country.
Our ERU activities include:
- emergency support varying from provision of basic assistance (mattresses and blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, etc.) to shelter kit distribution, site improvements and implementation of WASH activities
- support to newly arrived refugees from Syria
- distribution of disinfection, hibernation and infection, prevention and control (IPC) kits, WASH support to isolation units and distribution of UNHCR-funded hygiene items in collective shelters in response to Covid-19
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
- Germany through the German Development Bank (KfW)
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- Foreign, Commonwealth And Development Office (FCDO)
- State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)
- Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
- European Union Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian Crisis, The “MADAD fund”
- German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO)
- Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
- Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
- Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA)
- Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
About NRC in Lebanon
To inquire about our services, or to submit any complaint/feedback kindly find the following brochure.
NORCAP expertise vital to Beirut urban response
NORCAP’s rapid support and coordination expertise ensured a critical and timely contribution to the urban response to the Beirut Port explosion, according to partner organisation UN-Habitat.