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: 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.
Lebanon: A better translation
Lebanese men pass their citizenship on to their children. Lebanese women, by law in Lebanon, cannot — unless they are married to a Lebanese man.
Lebanon: Transparency and accountability...in businesses? In Lebanon?
I hate microphones. It generally means I am speaking to so many people that it too impersonal or too important.
Lebanon: Foundations for a strong future: Youth in Lebanon and Jordan promote cultural heritage
Daily life in Lebanon and Jordan means contending with a large number of social and economic pressures and many young people — who make up the vast majority of the population — have lost sight of their cultural heritage.
Lebanon: A Palestinian camp — not what you might expect
I love to camp. I associate it with mountain meadows, alpine flowers, a warm fire, a cold beer. And the occasional bear. So when I heard I would be going to a Palestinian camp in Lebanon, I had a really hard time wrapping my brain around it.
Lebanon: Promoting peace in northern Lebanon
As part of Mercy Corps' efforts to reach conflict-affected youth in Lebanon, Mercy Corps and Najdeh Association set up a five-day football tournament in September.
Lebanon: Teens Rebuild for the Future