Lebanon + 2 more

Lebanon Humanitarian Fund - Annual Report 2017




Humanitarian situation in 2017

Lebanon remains at the forefront of one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. The situation in the country continues to be precarious, with extensive humanitarian and development needs. Lebanon hosts the highest per capita population of refugees in the world. As of January 2018, the Government of Lebanon estimates that the country hosts 1.5 million Syrians who have fled the conflict in Syria (including 995,512 registered as refugees with UNHCR), along with 34,000 Palestine Refugees from Syria (PRS), 35,000 Lebanese Returnees, and a pre-existing population of more than 277,985 Palestine Refugees in Lebanon (PRL). The vulnerabilities of each of these groups have different root causes, requiring the overall crisis response to include a multifaceted range of interventions from emergency aid to development assistance.

High poverty levels

Eight years into the crisis, poverty levels are high and the longterm resilience of Lebanon’s vulnerable communities is eroding as they run out of savings and struggle to access income. At present, 1.5 million Lebanese live below the poverty line, of whom 470,000 are children. More than 76 per cent of Syrian refugees are living below the poverty line, along with 65 per cent of PRL and 89 per cent of PRS, who are one of the most vulnerable groups in the region. In response to protracted poverty, which is leading to rising food insecurity, 96 per cent of Syrian refugees are adopting negative coping strategies such as selling household goods, productive assets and housing or land, or withdrawing children from school. Households are sinking deeper into debt. In addition, constraints related to labour and residency policies have compelled refugees to resort to illegal and exploitative labour.

Increasing socio-economic disparities

Lebanon has witnessed an increased demand on its infrastructure and services, which lack the capacity to meet increased demand. The distribution of refugees in areas with a high concentration of Lebanese living below the poverty level, in conjunction with unemployment and a deteriorating economic situation, is exacerbating poverty and social tensions between communities while deepening socio-economic disparities. Between 2014 and 2017, the percentage of Lebanese who did not report any inter-community tensions dropped from 40 to 2 per cent.

Food Security

The food security situation remains very critical despite provision of direct food assistance, with an increase of food insecure households compared to 2015: 91 per cent of Syrian refugees live in some degree of food insecurity in 2017, compared to 89 per cent in 2015.

Gender-Based Violence

Socio-economic vulnerabilities, exacerbated by a protracted crisis, have translated into an increase in the levels of violence against children and women. There is an increased reliance on harmful practices such as child marriage and child labour, and an amplified risk of traffickers preying on the heightened vulnerability of populations.


One of the main objectives of the LCRP is to ensure a tailored provision of protection and other services for persons with specific needs such as persons with disabilities, older persons as well as women and children. However, data on persons with disabilities who are at high risk of violence, discrimination and exclusion is a persisting gap. Persons with disabilities have specific needs that entail additional costs on the family and require continuous assistance to improve their integration in society and access to services. Therefore, special attention should be given to this specific group through a holistic multi-sectoral response.


The protracted nature of the Syria crisis has overstretched the capacity of Lebanon’s education system to address critical needs. Despite the efforts of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) and partners, there are still unmet needs and challenges to be tackled. It is estimated that half of Syrian refugee children – more than 250,000 – remain out of school.


Despite the institutional support provided, health facilities at the level of primary healthcare and hospitalization across Lebanon are heavily strained with an increased demand on services due to the crisis. For instance, Akkar and Bekaa, which are traditionally underserved areas and hosting respectively around 10 per cent and 25 per cent of the Syrian refugees, are in particular need of more support. Mortality and morbidity are expected to increase due to inadequate access to healthcare.


64 per cent of the population in Lebanon do not have access to safe drinking water services. The presence of a large numbers of refugees has led to a stress on resources, but also to an increase of 15 per cent of solid waste, 14 per cent of waste water, and 12 per cent in water demand.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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