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 — 25 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.
- 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
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: 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.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Syria's refugee tide: Children at the heart of our mission
Children especially are swelling the refugee ranks. It is a scenario I have witnessed over many years in the Middle East, Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and other war zones.
Lebanon, Syria: Making progress to comfort more Syrian kids
Yesterday held some big developments for Mercy Corps' new efforts to support Syrian refugees flooding into Lebanon.
Lebanon, Syria: Syrians take refuge in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley
In the two days visiting recently arrived Syrians, most of the refugees I encountered were children, who've been uprooted from the only life they've every known. Here's what I saw and heard from them.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Aiding Syrian refugees
As fighting intensifies and thousands of Syrians flee their country for the relative safety of neighbors like Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey, Mercy Corps is meeting important humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees.
Lebanon: Steps toward a fuller democracy
Earlier this year 800 people in a small village in northern Lebanon went to the polls. Like people across Lebanon, many in the village of Qaa had never voted before in their lives, mostly because they’d been disillusioned with tales of corruption, inefficiency and greed in politics.
Egypt, Lebanon, West Bank and Gaza, Yemen: How we're helping transform the Middle East
The recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt — and their ripple effects across North Africa and the Middle East — have reminded the world how powerful young people can be.