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Where is Lebanon?

Lebanon is a country in the Middle East on the Mediterranean Sea, bordered by Syria.

Our impact

Overview

Today, Lebanon bears by far the biggest proportional burden of the Syrian refugee crisis: one in four people currently living in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee.

In the past few years, three pivotal events have pushed Lebanon to crisis point: state corruption which led to nationwide protests in 2019; the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdown measures starting in March 2020; and the Beirut Port explosion in August 2020. These compounded crises have left more than 55 per cent of the country’s population – around 6.7 million people – trapped in poverty and struggling to afford food and basic essentials.

Tearfund’s local partner in Lebanon distributing aid during the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: Tearfund partner

Our work in Lebanon

Tearfund has been working in response to the refugee crisis in Lebanon since early 2013. As a result of the worsening economic crisis, we have now expanded our work to include the changing needs of vulnerable communities in Lebanon.

We partner with local organisations who have a proven track record of successful, impartial and efficient work. Strengthening and building the capacity of these local organisations ensures more sustainable long-term results.

Our work in Lebanon includes:

  • Building the resilience of vulnerable communities through: providing psychological support for those who have experienced trauma; creating job opportunities and providing skills training for young people; and engaging communities in peacebuilding and reconciliation processes. 
  • Providing refugees and their host families with food and hygiene supplies. This support, carried out through our local partners, has been crucial for those who lost everything when they fled their homes in Syria. 

Beirut blast

On 4 August 2020, a horrific blast hit Beirut port killing 200 people and leaving tens of thousands homeless. Working together with our local partners, we launched three projects to reduce people’s vulnerability to extreme poverty and hunger and meet their basic needs. This included providing 690 families with cash or vouchers and 940 families with psychological support.

Extreme weather

Lebanon can have both hot summers and very cold winters. This poses a serious challenge and health risk to refugees living in tents and makeshift shelters. In response to this, Tearfund has supported the distribution of kits to help people survive the coldest months of the year.

A young girl stands on the roof of her home in Beirut, Lebanon. Credit: Ruth Towell/Tearfund

Partnerships and funding

With generous support from the Humanitarian Emergency Fund (HEF) of the Scottish Government, Tearfund and our local partners were able to provide emergency funds to vulnerable households affected by the Beirut blast in August 2020. This enabled them to meet their basic household needs including food and payments for rent, utilities, and medical bills. One of the recipients, Arwa, described the support as a 'window of hope', as it helped her buy food for her family and pay for medical attention in her time of greatest need.

Tearfund also receives funding from Haverstock Charitable Trust for Lebanon to support social cohesion activities.

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