Improve capacity of local government and communities to support escalating needs of Lebanese and Syrian refugee families. Reduce tension and boost economic stability by increasing access to sustainable, productive livelihoods. Engage youth in positive social opportunities and support leadership development as an investment in Lebanon’s future.
Lebanon is home to deep-rooted political, cultural and religious complexities that frequently result in complicated conflicts. Since the start of the Syria crisis, Lebanon has become home to the largest number of Syrian refugees per capita in the world — more than 20 percent of the population is now made up of refugees.
Most of them have settled in the poorest areas of Lebanon. This has put additional strain on the country’s already-fragile infrastructure and social makeup, and tensions are soaring as Syrian refugees and Lebanese families compete for the same overstretched resources like jobs, shelter and public services.
For example, the inflow of refugees has expanded informal, low-wage employment and deteriorated working conditions, and both Lebanese and Syrian families are struggling to find and maintain sufficient livelihoods to meet their basic needs. More than one million people already live below the poverty line — and unemployment is rising rapidly.
- Agriculture & Food: Ensuring that the most vulnerable refugees have access to food in partnership with the World Food Program (WFP). Conducting cash-for-work activities to improve long-term agriculture infrastructure.
- Children & Youth: Protecting at-risk youth from violence and neglect by providing emotional support, recreational activities, community engagement and life skills education. Raising awareness on child rights and training community leaders on how to prevent violence against children.
- Conflict & Governance: Training key municipality staff and Lebanese and Syrian community leaders in local resource management and conflict prevention to help mitigate resource-based tensions and defuse local conflicts.
- Economic opportunity: Increasing sustainable livelihood opportunities by supporting small and medium enterprises, including farmers and small agro-businesses, to adopt improved operational, production and marketing practices. Helping people build livelihoods through market-based skills development and work placement.
- Water: Rehabilitating water and sanitation infrastructure in schools and rural villages. Improving basic water, sanitation and hygiene facilities for refugees living in informal tent settlements, collective shelters and unfinished rented apartments.
All stories about Lebanon
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Q+A: How we're protecting Syrian refugee kids
Our child protection expert in Jordan and Lebanon explains what their life is like and what Mercy Corps is doing to keep them safe.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Addressing growing needs as refugee crisis reaches ‘historic proportions’
While we work in the countries neighboring Syria, we're also actively engaged in advocacy efforts to ensure international leaders support the needs of Syrian refugees and their hosts.
Lebanon, Syria: Regaining the hope of childhood
Ghadan, 9, shares one of her drawings in the Comfort for Kids workbook. The signature Mercy Corps program helps children process their trauma through creative expression and activities.
Lebanon, Syria: Warm coats are a simple source of hope
Jacket distributions in Lebanon are bringing smiles back to the faces of refugee children.
Lebanon, Syria: New coats for Syrian refugee kids
Our team distributed more than 1,600 jackets to help Syrian refugee children stay warm through the increasingly cold and wet winter in Lebanon.
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Syria: An ongoing crisis
Refugee numbers are predicted to double as Syria's violent conflict drags on. We're on the ground in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq helping meet their most urgent needs for water, warmth and safety.
Lebanon, Syria: Syrian refugees in Lebanon facing bitter winter
A dramatic spike in refugees, who have fled Syria with what little they can carry in plastic bags, has increased the need for warm clothing, blankets and heaters.
Lebanon, Syria: ‘Here, I feel safe’
Laughter could be heard across the yard of the Beitokom Community Center in Baalbeck, as Alaa raced to greet us. The 13-year-old and his family recently arrived from Damascus, having fled near-nightly bombardment, terror and immeasurable personal loss.
Lebanon, Syria: Kids moving beyond crisis
We began our first Moving Forward activities in two areas of Lebanon a few weeks ago. The sessions give kids — both Syrian refugees and those from Lebanese host families — a safe, structured place to learn and play away from the current chaos.
Lebanon, Syria: Building a community of support for refugees
Two signature Mercy Corps programs will bring support and healing to young Syrian refugees, their parents, and Lebanese hosts families, all affected by the escalating violence in Syria.