Lebanon Situation Report | May 2024

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Seventy five percent of children in Lebanon face the threat of poverty — a situation made worse by the escalation of hostilities with Israel since October 2023. Israeli attacks have worsened existing crises in Lebanon, including a 90% currency devaluation since 2019. And humanitarian aid cuts are further deepening the miseries of vulnerable refugees and Lebanese nationals, scaling back food, medical, and sanitation services for families already struggling to survive.

The Undeclared War Continues

Six months of hostilities in southern Lebanon have killed 344 people, including eight children and 21 women, and injured 1,359 more, including 75 children. At least 75 civilians have been killed. Civilian infrastructure, including schools and health facilities, has been destroyed by Israeli forces, exacerbating difficulties in obtaining education, water, and healthcare.

To highlight one example, an Israeli airstrike on a humanitarian center in southern Lebanon on March 27, 2024. The strike, utilizing US-made munitions, targeted a residential structure in the Nabatieh village of Hebbariye housing the Emergency and Relief Corps of the Lebanese Succour Association, killing seven relief volunteers. There was no evidence of a military target at the site.

As a result of the conflict, 93,040 people have been forced to flee their homes and are registered as internally displaced persons. Most of the displaced are currently staying with host families, and a small number are residing in designated emergency shelters.

Dark Days for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

April 2024 was the most dangerous month for Syrian refugees in Lebanon since their arrival in 2011. Recent incidents in Lebanon have highlighted a concerning trend of violence against Syrian residents. This surge in violence has coincided with heightened tensions following the abduction and killing of a prominent Lebanese official, prompting a wave of retaliatory actions against Syrians. Amid calls for calm from political figures, there has been a disturbing rise in discriminatory practices, including deportations and restrictions on Syrian refugees.

Many people, primarily Syrians, are leaving Lebanon by boats en route to Europe. The surge is driven by the grim economic situation and heightened violence against Syrians.

1 in 5 People in Lebanon Are Going Hungry

In the last six months, 1 million people in Lebanon — 19% of the population — faced acute food insecurity. Those going hungry were mostly Lebanese nationals (582,000 people), with Syrian refugees disproportionately impacted (411,000 people). Acute food insecurity is projected to continue in the coming months, with inflation being the primary driver of hunger.

Aid Funding Declines

Both the World Food Program and UNRWA are facing funding shortfalls, leading to fewer households receiving food assistance. The uncertainties facing UNRWA could affect some 250,000 Palestinians, 80% of whom live below the poverty line.

The Educational System Remains in Crisis

The ongoing conflict in Lebanon has worsened an existing education crisis, closing 72 public and private schools and affecting up to 20,000 children in the South. Even before the conflict, over 700,000 children were out of school. By December 2023, 16% of families resorted to sending children to work, up from 11% in April, with Syrian refugee families mainly affected. Access to public healthcare is declining, and most wastewater treatment plants are non-functional, leading to environmental degradation and water contamination.

Anera is Providing Hygiene Support to the Displaced

In the wake of emergencies that have displaced many in Lebanon, Anera is implementing the Emergency WASH Response project in June and July to support displaced people residing in different regions of southern Lebanon. With a focus on hygiene, health, and overall welfare, the project will distribute 5,150 family hygiene kits (including soap, bleach, detergent, toothpaste and more) and 500 baby care kits (including diapers and baby soap), ensuring displaced families have access to essential hygiene items and minimize sources of disease and illness. Anera will engage local youth volunteers in the distribution process, fostering community collaboration.

For more information, including sources cited, read our full situation report.

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