A total of
people in need received our assistance in 2017.
Lebanon has the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. The estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees and almost 175,000 Palestinian refugees amount to over a quarter of Lebanon's total population. This has put pressure on public services and affected the country's demographic balance, threatening to impact Lebanon's political stability.
Under Lebanese law, Syrians and Palestinians are not considered refugees, but "guests" granted temporary hospitality. The Lebanese government opposes creating formal camps, so refugees must find, and pay for, their own accommodation or live in informal settlements. An estimated 80 per cent of Syrian refugees rent apartments, unfinished or sub-standard buildings.
Since 2015, Lebanon's borders have been closed to civilians fleeing Syria. It's difficult for refugees already in the country to renew their legal stay, making it hard for them to move freely without the fear of arrest or detention. Refugees cannot legally work and struggle to meet their essential needs. Seven out of ten Syrian refugees live below the national poverty line.
People we helped in Lebanon in 2017
We support everyone affected by displacement in Lebanon and advocate for their rights inside the country, regionally and internationally.
Because refugees in Lebanon live side-by-side with the Lebanese, we also work to serve the local communities hosting displaced people.
We run education projects at our community centres, alternative learning spaces and in schools run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Our education activities include:
- supporting access to education to keep children in school
- creating non-formal education opportunities to reach out-of-school children, such as catch-up classes
- train teachers
- rehabilitating Lebanese public schools
- providing vocational training and language classes for out-of-school youth and young adults
- supporting UNRWA's schools for Palestinian refugees by training teachers on child-centred approaches to teaching
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
Our ICLA teams:
- raise awareness among refugees about their rights in Lebanon
- support access to civil documentation, like permit renewals and birth registration
- work to prevent housing disputes and forced evictions
- monitor individual cases, from assistance to referrals and follow-up systems
- visit families to ensure they receive the information they need and to identify special concerns
- provide legal assistance and representation for Palestinian refugees, particularly in cases concerning property inheritance
Shelter and settlements
Our shelter efforts provide affordable, quality housing – and we are the main providers of such housing in Lebanon. Our shelter projects include:
- providing a minimum of 12 months of rent-free housing for Syrian refugees though the Occupancy Free of Charge programme
- ensuring that renovated properties have adequate water, sewage and sanitation facilities
- providing materials for emergency weather proofing, or provide cash vouchers to purchase proofing materials
- repairing buildings in Palestinian refugee camps
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion
We work to expand water and sanitation services and improve hygiene practices among Syrian and Palestinian refugees, and local Lebanese communities. Our WASH teams:
- ensure that shelter projects have adequate water, sewage and sanitation facilities
- construct water network extensions, including boreholes, to increase clean water supply to refugees and local communities
- lead community support projects and provide crucial infrastructure support to vulnerable Lebanese communities
- set up new sanitation systems that use small-scale septic tanks to manage sewage
- create WASH committees in informal tented settlements, to help refugees take care of WASH infrastructure maintenance and services
Community Management and Coordination
We manage and coordinate informal settlements. Our teams:
- build refugees' coordination capacity and enhance their involvement in aid, while reducing their dependency on it
- collaborate closely with the Ministry of Social Affairs, municipality leaders, the UN agency for refugees and other partners to strengthen the self-reliance of Syrian refugees
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- KfW Development Bank (Germany)
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID)
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
About NRC in (country)
Engaging in his children’s education
“Refugee children in Lebanon live in terrible conditions, and are thus deprived, in many ways, of their childhood. They are witnesses to war in Syria and many of them are experiencing trauma, which is difficult to deal with,” says thirty-year-old Mohammad.
Welcoming a positive turn for refugees in Lebanon
Although negative rhetoric and unlawful evictions escalated in late 2017, policy changes that give more refugees a chance at legal residency are reasons for optimism.