While Lebanon continues to host an overwhelming number of Syrian refugees since 2012, refugees and asylum seekers of other nationalities are also seeking refuge in the country, many of which have been residing in Lebanon prior to the Syrian crisis. This group of refugees face serious challenges securing their needs and continue to exhibit high levels of vulnerability. By the end of April 2019 there were just above 17,600 registered refugees and asylum seekers from countries other than Syria in Lebanon. This group is primarily comprised of Iraqis (83%) who have mostly arrived in 2014 and 2015. The second largest group are the Sudanese, who make up 9% of the population. Other countries of origin include Ethiopia, Egypt, Eritrea, and others.
Since 2016, the Vulnerability Assessment of Refugees of Other Nationalities (VARON) has been a key tool for advocacy and program design. The key objectives of the VARON include:
• Providing a multi-sectoral update of the situation of refugees from Iraq and other countries in Lebanon through an annual household survey. The survey covers key indicators related to multiple sectors including protection, shelter, water and hygiene, health, livelihoods, socio-economic vulnerability, food security and more.
• To enhance the targeting for the provision of multi-purpose cash assistance. The data gathered through the VARON, particularly on expenditure, is used to build econometric models, which are used to determine eligibility for multi-purpose cash and food assistance.