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 — 30 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 1 million people already live below the poverty line — and unemployment is rising rapidly.
- Children & Youth: Protecting at-risk boys and girls from violence and neglect by providing psychosocial support, recreational activities, community engagement and practical life skills education. Leading gender-based violence awareness sessions for men, women and girls.
- Governance & Social Stability: Increasing social cohesion between communities, reducing inter-communal tensions, and enhancing trust between communities and local government institutions. Empowering local governance structures to be responsive to the needs of all community members, including refugees. 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 to improve operational, production and marketing practices, and linking them with markets. Helping people build livelihoods through market-based skills development and work placements. Strengthening solid waste management and recycling services and supporting the development of agro-food, construction, renewable energy and ecotourism markets. Supporting municipalities in managing intensive labor programs so the most vulnerable populations can access short-term income to meet their basic needs.
- Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: Improving communal water and sanitation facilities for both Lebanese and Syrian populations. Testing innovative solutions to wastewater management and sanitation in close coordination with local communities and government.
Lebanon, Syria: Severe storm and freezing temperatures stress refugees' urgent winter needs
We're providing clothing and heating supplies to Syrian families who fled to Lebanon with nothing to prepare them for harsh winter conditions.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Raising awareness to prevent polio among Syrian refugee children
A polio outbreak in Syria raises concerns about disease in crowded refugee conditions. We're supporting UNCEF's vaccination campaign and addressing sanitation needs.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: In the News: NPR's All Things Considered visits Syrian refugees with Mercy Corps' child protection expert
Alexandra Chen spoke with NPR about the importance of treating symptoms of trauma in children displaced by the conflict.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Syrian humanitarian crisis demands new perspective on emergency response
Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer outlines key steps we should take to help Syrians caught in the civil war.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Neal Keny-Guyer on Syria humanitarian crisis at the National Press Club
Watch the video and read the remarks from Mercy Corps' CEO.
Lebanon, Syria: Doulama's story: A video by Syrian youth
Doulama was 18 when she was forced to flee her home in Syria. Two years later, she talks about the escape and how she dreams of going back home.
Lebanon, Syria: Meet our field staff: Ghassan
As part of the Mercy Corps team responding to the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, Ghassan's gentle poise and easy smile make him the ideal mentor for the children he helps.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: In the news: Two million Syrian refugees
A UN announcement today marks another tragic milestone in the ongoing Syria crisis. On CNN, we discuss the burden on host countries and what the international community must do to help.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: In the news: One million Syrian refugee children
The UN announced today that one million Syrian children have now been registered as refugees. And of those, some 740,000 are under the age of 11.
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.