Lebanon: North & Akkar Governorates Profile (October 2018)
Northern Lebanon – made up of the North and Akkar Governorates – is one of the country’s most deprived regions, with severe poverty. Out of a population of 1.164 million people, 532,000 live in poverty: 341,000 deprived Lebanese, over 140,000 Syrian refugees, 51,000 Palestine refugees. The most vulnerable localities are along the border with Syria and east and north of Tripoli. Tripoli, the capital of the North governorate, is Lebanon’s second-largest city and hosts 43,558 Syrian refugees; the remainder of the region (T5 & Akkar) hosts 275,000 refugees, many of them live in informal settlements and substandard shelters. Akkar Governorate, the poorest of Lebanon’s governorates, shares a 100km border with Syria and has three official crossing points: El Aarida,El Aboudiyeh and El Boqayaa. Due to the region’s proximity to the border, the conflict in Syria has had a strong spillover eect with the arrival of high numbers of refugees. The crisis has also triggered a downturn in economic and commercial activities, as the area strongly relied on trade with Syria.
The region is composed of a majority of Muslim (Sunnis), Christians (Maronites & Orthodox), with a minority of Alawites and Shiites. Long-standing politico-sectarian tensions between the Alawite and Sunni communities were exacerbated by the Syrian crisis and tore apart Tripoli’s neighborhoods of Jabal Mohsen (Alawite) and Bab el Tebbaneh (Sunni) from 2008 to 2015, killing 200 people and injuring more than 2,000. However, the security situation in the region has largely stabilized since the end of the Tripoli unrest and the implementation of the security plan by the Lebanese Armed Forces, with the exception of Wadi Khaled, a former smuggling hub next to the Syrian border which remains a pocket of occasional insecurity