Of all the countries in the world, Lebanon has been one of the hardest hit by the crisis in neighboring Syria. Refugees now make up one-quarter of the country’s population, giving the nation of roughly 5 million people the planet’s highest per capita concentration of refugees.
Lebanon has no refugee camps. Many refugees here live in tent communities, unfinished buildings or dilapidated shelters. The severity of the crisis not only imperils the day-to-day survival of refugees, but it has also strained the very fabric of Lebanese society, depleting scarce resources, disrupting the labor market and inflaming social tensions.
Relief International has worked in Lebanon for a decade, giving us a nuanced grasp of the country’s needs and a strong relationship with local communities. Arriving in 2006 during the July War, a 34-day conflict, Relief International began operations by distributing humanitarian aid. In 2008, we grew our commitment by creating economic opportunities, partnering with more than 130 municipalities to establish small businesses and build overall economic health.
Since 2012, our efforts have focused on the crisis facing Syrian refugees and the Lebanese communities that host them. With three offices and roughly 50 staff, RI’s work in Lebanon:
- Deployed mobile medical units that provide primary healthcare to refugees and local residents in 300 locations, including make-shift tent settlements and shelters (November 2013 - January 2016)
- Promotes basic health, hygiene and sanitation
- Supports eleven Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) Primary Health Care Centers
- Contributes to the national health strategies of the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) by supporting its efforts, including the Mental Health Gap (MHGap) program
- Provides Multi- Purpose cash assistance to over 1,500 severely vulnerable refugee households, and almost 100 severely vulnerable Lebanese households
- Partners with BBCMedia Action and local organizations to operate 15 drop-in information centers where Syrian refugees can learn about the services and resources available to them, along with 2 mobile information units that visit hard to access areas
Learn more about our programs in Lebanon below.