Where We Work

Introduction to Lebanon

The second smallest country in the Middle East has beautiful ancient sites including Baalbek, Byblos and Tyre - showcasing the rich remnants of ancient Roman and French civilizations. Now with a population of 6.8 million, Lebanon houses a 59.5% majority Muslim population. 

Lebanon also hosts the highest per capita concentration of refugees from Syria with 1.5 million Syrian refugees in the country as well as 479,000 Palestinian refugees. As a result, tensions between host and refugee communities are frequent as the high number of refugees puts pressure on the already strained Lebanese economy. 

Formal refugee camps are banned for Syrians, leaving many to live in construction sites and makeshift homes, exposing them to extreme weather conditions. Food and rent prices have increased, competition for jobs has grown, and there is enormous pressure on the health and education systems, furthering tensions. 

The aftermath of the Beirut blast is still being felt with more than 62,000 homes destroyed and over 300,000 people left homeless. Additionally, the Lebanese economy continues to plummet to new lows with the Lebanese lira having lost around 90% of its value. 

This has resulted in high inflation rates, a shortage of basic necessities, lower wages, and rising unemployment rates. Currently, more than 80% of the population lives in multidimensional poverty and a quarter are living in extreme poverty.

Why do the people of Lebanon need your support?

For people across Lebanon, life is incredibly challenging:

  • 68% of Syrian households headed by women are food insecure and are using crisis-level coping strategies (UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, 2020) 

  • 85% of Lebanese households are consuming cheaper and less preferred food (OCHA, 2021) 

  • The multidimensional poverty rate in Lebanon has nearly doubled from 42% in 2019 to 82% in 2021 (ESCWA, 2020) 

  • In 2020, Lebanon’s GDP contracted by 20.3%, plummeting from US$55 billion in 2018 to US$33 billion in 2020 (World Bank, 2021)

Islamic Relief in Lebanon

Islamic Relief has been working in Lebanon since 2006. With a main office in Beirut and operations in Beqaa, Saida, Beirut, Akkar and Tripoli, Islamic Relief Canada implements emergency interventions to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable, as well as sustainable development projects to improve livelihoods. 

In the wake of the Beirut explosion, Islamic Relief Canada addressed urgent food, hygiene and health needs. Our emergency relief provided vulnerable households with food parcels and hygiene kits. We also provided 2 local health centres with medical disposables and supplies to treat those injured from the explosion. 

In order to support those affected by the ongoing economic and energy crisis, we are providing food parcels, education classes, psychological counselling, completing a part of the existing water supply network in the El Bireh village, as well as installing solar energy components to an existing water well. 

Students’ educational attainment is a huge focus in our work in Lebanon. Over 2,000 students are receiving support through education kits, tablets, case management services, food parcels and hygiene kits, alongside a mobile education bus and training sessions to teachers. 

One of our current long term development projects in Lebanon is supporting the Children Clinic in Nahel El-Bared Camp. This project financially supports the pediatric clinic to continue providing primary health care services to over 25,000 children. It also provides health awareness sessions to parents, with the support of the National Institution of Social Care and Vocational Training.

Your donations in action

Lana is a 3 year old girl who lives in the Naher El-Bared camp with her parents and two brothers. Lana was born with various health conditions, and shortly after birth, it was revealed she would not be able to walk like others her age. 

Lana's father works as a construction worker, and he is unable to afford the cost of treating his only daughter. However, through the support of Islamic Relief Canada, Lana was able to visit the Children Clinic in Nahel El-Bared Camp. 

At the clinic, she received an official diagnosis of a pelvic dislocation, and was referred to an orthopedic specialist for follow up. Through frequent check ups, physiotherapy, and medical support, Lana can now walk!

Today, Lana visits the clinic regularly while she walks on her own two legs, smiling as she clutches onto her mother’s hand. Her mom shares, 

“We are so grateful for Islamic Relief’s support of the clinic, and for providing advanced support by covering the cost of Lana’s advanced examination. Alhamdulillah for Lana’s current progress. We are so excited to see the extent of her recovery!” 

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