Lebanon is a small country half the size of Wales struggling to host well over a million Syrian refugees on top of more than 400,000 Palestinian refugees already living in the country – and despite high levels of poverty and unemployment among its own population.
Why CAFOD works in Lebanon
With no official refugee camps for Syrians, most of the new arrivals are living in makeshift tented settlements, in cramped apartment blocks, or in abandoned or half-built buildings.
The refugees are often living alongside poor Lebanese communities, and with the war continuing in Syria, there is no end in sight to the crisis.
The Palestinian refugees have been in Lebanon since 1948, when the Arab-Israeli war forced tens of thousands of Palestinians to flee to surrounding countries.
Decades later those who fled to Lebanon are still living as refugees. Most people live in overcrowded, poor conditions, are unemployed and can't access public services. Palestinian refugees from Syria are also fleeing and now joining camps in Lebanon putting even further strain on Palestinian host communities.
Our work in Lebanon
As coronavirus spreads, our local experts are continuing to provide food, shelter, water and medical supplies to thousands of refugees and host communities.
We are also adapting our work, so that we continue to safely:
- train and educate Palestinian refugees so they can find work and are not reliant on handouts
- build up female co-operatives in which Syrian refugee and Lebanese women work in partnership
- help Syrian refugee and Lebanese young people develop life skills and play a part in building up their local community.