Christian Aid has been working in Lebanon for over 30 years and has been responding to the Syrian refugee crisis there since 2012.
Working with three long-term local partners throughout the country, Christian Aid’s programme in Lebanon focusses on issues of displacement and conflict to tackle the root causes of poverty and address the structural inequalities faced by the most vulnerable and marginalised in Lebanon refugees from Syria and Palestine, and vulnerable Lebanese.
The situation in Lebanon is the consequence of a series of compounded long-term and acute crises: displacement, corruption, economic crisis, pandemic and the aftermath of the Beirut Port explosion. In 2020, rampant inflation has seen prices of basic goods skyrocket and food insecurity is widespread, meanwhile livelihoods have been eroded and poverty amongst the Lebanese is expected to rise to 52% and up to 83% amongst Syrian refugees. This is particularly worrying for children and young people, many of whom have had to drop out of school.
In Lebanon we work on...
Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees per capita in the world. Since the creation of Israel in 1948, Lebanon has been home to refugees from Palestine. In addition, since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, Lebanon has been host to at least 1 million Syrian refugees. Refugees from Palestine have very limited access to the Lebanese labour market and are often limited to menial work, and refugees from Syria lack formal UN refugee camps and also face highly restrictive government policies. Refugees are among the most vulnerable populations in Lebanon, particularly those with disabilities, the elderly, women and children.
We work with partners in Lebanon who specifically address these issues. Support to refugee communities includes providing education and psychosocial support to Palestinians in Nahr El Bared Refugee Camp, as well as providing fuel vouchers, winter and food parcels to Syrian refugees, many of whom live in informal tented settlements.
As Lebanon faces a worsening socioeconomic and political crisis, exacerbated by the Beirut Port explosion in August 2020, Christian Aid has also been supporting partners to provide emergency food parcels, hygiene kits, blankets and mattresses, as well as cash assistance to affected households. Looking ahead, efforts will focus on long-term recovery.
Education and resilience
Since 2014, Christian Aid has supported community centres of our long-term partner Mouvement Social (MS), to help disadvantaged children and young people in Lebanon.
Our work with MS offers educational and psychosocial support to Syrian and Lebanese children in the Beirut suburbs, Sidon, Akkar, Tripoli and the Bekka valley, in order to help them catch up with their schooling, increase academic success and improve their wellbeing. Since 2017, this work has been supported by Bread for the World with a focus on empowering vulnerable people affected by displacement.
We are also supporting MS’s centre in Lebanon’s Roumieh Prison youth wing, which has worked with hundreds of Syrian and Lebanese minors to provide psychosocial support, vocational training and legal assistance. The project also aims to help young people reconcile with their families and communities, to better ensure reintegration into society.
Peacebuilding and Social Cohesion
Since 2018, CA has been working with partner Basmeh and Zeitooneh (B&Z) in Tripoli in the north of Lebanon to provide Peace Education sessions to children and young people. Tripoli has a particularly violent history; between 2008 and 2014, an internal conflict pitted armed groups against each other, and these tensions and their legacy remain a threat to this day.
The Peace Education project provides children and young people with the lifeskills and psychosocial support to manage the stress, tension and violence of the circumstances and environment in which they live, increases their resilience and promotes a culture of peace, acceptance and social cohesion among the diverse communities.
Since 2014, partner Association Najdeh has provided lifeskills training and psychosocial support to more than 1,500 children and 1,100 parents in Nahr El Bared Refugee Camp. Project participants demonstrate increased confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing, as well as improved interpersonal skills and knowledge of their rights to ensure their protection.
Najdeh have also supported more than 1,000 refugee and displaced families with food vouchers and hygiene kits, and partner B&Z have provided 1,500 families with winterization kits including carpets, mattresses, blankets and fuel vouchers.
More than 5,000 individuals are being supported to recover from the impact of the Beirut Port explosion, which exacerbated existing vulnerabilities including poverty and food insecurity. Through the distribution of food parcels and cash assistance, CA with partners has enabled families to survive the immediate aftermath of the explosion, so they can recover from the shock and rebuild their lives.
Education and Resilience
Since 2018, CA has supported more than 1,400 children to attend 8 of MS’s centres across Lebanon, helping them succeed in school and improving their wellbeing. In addition, more than 1,200 parents have received extra assistance through home visits and family follow-ups, to enable them to successfully support their children.
Peacebuilding and Social Cohesion
Since 2018, more than 600 children have benefitted from B&Z’s Peace Education sessions in Tripoli, demonstrating an increased ability to express themselves and regulate their emotions, as well as improved conflict resolution and positive coping mechanisms. Furthermore, children have overcome pervasive stereotypes and prejudices, making new friends with children from other backgrounds.
External news and blogs
Huffington Post - Child Refugees in Lebanon: finding hope for the future
June 2016: Máiréad Collins, Syria Crisis Emergency Programme Manager at Christian Aid, reflects on the heart-breaking reality of life for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.Huffington Post - Child Refugees in Lebanon
BBC - Syrian refugees share 'safe space'
June 2015: The conflict in Syria that began in 2011 has made millions of refugees flee the country, many making their way to neighbouring Lebanon. Find out more about a photographic project to help young refugees from Syria integrate with Lebanese youth.BBC: photos from Lebanon