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Lebanon

We arrived in Lebanon in 1953 and we’ve been there ever since, tackling problems in education, child protection, livelihoods and shelter.

Lebanon is slipping deeper and deeper into a political and economic crisis. In 2020, over half a million children in Beirut were already struggling to eat. With prices continuing to rise and the currency in free fall, the country is at breaking point.

Syrian refugees make up nearly a quarter of Lebanon’s population. Nearly 90% of Syrians are now living in extreme poverty and less than 30% of Syrian children are in school.

We are supporting Lebanese and refugee families with cash so they can buy what they need with dignity. And we’re supporting small and medium sized business to keep themselves afloat through the crisis.

Beirut Explosion

 

In August 2020, a huge explosion in the Lebanese capital devastated homes and communities. 188 people died and tens of thousands of children found themselves homeless.

The blast and the chaos that followed were terrifying, but we immediately provided psychological first aid to help children process their feelings. And we created 140 child friendly spaces across the city so children could escape through play.

Our partners helped to distribute hot meals to families whose homes had been destroyed. And we provided debris removal kits to the Lebanese Red Cross who were clearing the rubble.

Support our Emergency Fund so we can respond to disasters like the Beirut explosion around the world.

Lama in Lebanon

Lama*, 11, stands in the kitchen at her family home which was damaged in the Beirut explosion. The family received psychological support following the blast and cash assistance to help them put food on the table. “I don’t mind eating whatever my mother prepares for lunch as long it is not eggplant.” Photo credit: Walid Khoury

AN EDUCATION EMERGENCY

Over the past two years, an estimated 1.2 million children in Lebanon have had their education disrupted. COVID-19 lockdown measures closed schools, teachers are striking over pay, and many schools in Beirut were damaged in the explosion.

The longer children are out of school, the harder it is to catch up. We’re working with partners to sound the alarm on this crisis and ensure children can keep learning.

PROVIDING SHELTER

For refugees living in informal settlements, the winter is cold and dangerous. Our teams are helping renovate buildings so that they’re safe and weatherproof. We’re distributing shelter materials, fuel and blankets so families can protect themselves from the cold. And we’re supplying essential items, such as washing and cooking equipment.

In areas that need it, we’re supporting local authorities to implement sanitation projects. We're also promoting good hygiene, upgrading water systems and distributing washing supplies.

Find out more

Page updated October 2021

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