Lebanon: Beirut & Mount Lebanon Governorates Profile (October 2018)
The Governorates of Beirut and Mount Lebanon together comprise around half of the Lebanese population – almost 2 million Lebanese, in addition to 309,112 Syrian and Palestinian refugees. The Governorates are largely urban and peri-urban, although Mount Lebanon also contains some rural and remote areas. Beirut is the administrative and economic capital of the country, hosting central Government institutions including the Parliament, Line Ministries, the highest courts, the central General Security Office (GSO), and the Directorate General of the Internal Security Forces (ISF); the Presidential Palace, Army Headquarters, and Ministry of Defense are located in nearby Baabda, Mount Lebanon. The Governorates together cover an area of 2,031 km2 . Beirut is its own district, while Mount Lebanon is composed of six districts: Jbeil, Kesrwane, el Meten, Baabda, Aley, and Chouf.
Together the Governorates also host 254,993 (as of 31 July 2018) registered Syrian refugees, with the vast majority in Mount Lebanon (235,480), which encompasses Beirut’s southern suburbs. Poverty rates in Beirut and Mount Lebanon are lower than in the rest of the country, across cohorts. However, the total number of poor is high; the two Governorates host nearly 29% of the total deprived Lebanese population, along with 22% of the poorest Palestine refugees in Lebanon, and 14% of the poorest Palestine refugees from Syria. Beirut and Mount Lebanon also host the majority of refugees (17,401 refugees as of 31/07/2018) from countries other than Syria.
The security situation in Beirut and Mount Lebanon is relatively stable. However, it remains subject to rapid change, including targeted attacks, civil unrest and intercommunal tensions. Some towns and municipalities have also imposed curfews on Syrian refugees, among other unlawful practices, such as confiscation of IDs and unlawful taxes. Protests occasionally take place around central Government institutions in Beirut, though these have generally been peaceful and small-scale.