Where We Work

With 10 offices and distribution centers throughout Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, Anera employs more than 149 full-time staff who are locally hired and work closely with community partners.

After the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 left hundreds of thousands of Palestinians homeless and impoverished, Anera formed from a small group of concerned Americans to provide immediate assistance to the victims of the conflict.

Although the organization has always anchored its work in its core founding purpose of delivering support for Palestinian refugees, we have always seen it as essential to serve all of the most vulnerable communities in the areas where we work. After the 1973 October War, Anera provided reconstruction aid in Syria, Egypt, the West Bank and Gaza.

Who Are Palestinian Refugees?

A refugee is anyone who has to flee their country due to persecution because of race, religion, nationality, war or violence. Most refugees either can't or are afraid to return home.

Palestinian refugees are individuals whose normal place of residence was Palestine and who lost their homes and livelihoods because of the Arab-Israeli conflict of 1948 between Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt and Israel in in the former Palestinian mandate. Palestinian refugees have had to flee twice — once from Palestine and again from Syria — and many live in refugee camps today.

All types of refugees have different rights than citizens of a country. Certain restrictions can make it more difficult for refugees to get jobs and a quality education. Plus, refugee camps are typically plots of lands designated by the host government or land leased by the host government from local landowners. Refugees in camps do not own the land but can use the land as a residence.

Where Do Palestinian Refugees Live?

Palestinian refugees live in four main locations — Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Jordan. Today, one in four people is a refugee in Lebanon, and the country houses over 1 million Syrians and 450,000 Palestinians. Many Palestinian refugees have lived in Lebanon for generations in the country's 12 camps. Overcrowding and crumbling infrastructure have created unsafe conditions.

The Palestinian refugee crisis has also touched Gaza, one of the most densely populated places on earth. Overcrowding has led to scarce resources, creating poor conditions for refugees. There is also a large Palestinian community in the West Bank. Since the Oslo Accords divided the country into three sectors, Palestinians living in certain locations have to go through checkpoints and walls to live. Finally, Palestinian refugees in Jordan total more than 2 million. After first arriving in 1948 during the Arab-Israeli War, Palestinians continue to flee to the 10 different camps in the country.

Palestinian Refugee Camps

Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon house 58 official Palestinian refugee camps. How many Palestinian refugees live in these camps? Figures show about 1.5 million Palestinian refugees.

Because there are so many refugees living in so few camps, housing conditions are poor. Refugee camps are frequently overcrowded and lack basic infrastructures. If there's a crisis in the country where the camp is located, Palestinian refugees can go months without electricity, and these conditions are frequently inconsistent. The camps often lack proper sanitation, housing, job and education opportunities and access to medicine.

For example, 45,000 Palestinian refugees are registered in Lebanon. Over half of them live in overcrowded, crumbling refugee camps in the middle of poor Lebanese communities. Those in the camps typically experience violence, joblessness and poor housing conditions. They have trouble finding privacy and comfort, and many have lost hope that they'll find a job or experience a fulfilling life.

A few of the refugee camps in Lebanon include:

  • Ein El Hilweh: This Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon is southeast of Saida and has the highest concentration of Palestinian refugees from both Syria and Lebanon. Its major problems include small and overcrowded shelters, poor living conditions, a high ratio of out-of-school youth and more.
  • Burj El Barajneh: 31,000 refugees live in Bur El Burajneh, a camp that was established in 1948. It has under-funded health facilities and schools, plus it lacks the proper infrastructure for the number of people living there.
  • Nahr El Bared: Nearly 30,000 Palestinian refugees from both Palestine and Syria live in this camp, which is about 10 miles northeast of Tripoli. Despite the scenic location, refugees in the camp have faced violence, frequent displacement and other issues.

How Anera Helps Palestinian Refugees

The Palestinian refugee crisis has left millions of people vulnerable around the world. Anera helps Palestinian refugees by country with both long- and short-term relief. With 100 staff members from many disciplines who live and serve Middle Eastern communities, our team offers different programs that help meet basic refugee needs. For example, we focus on the health of Palestinian refugees by giving out supplies, funding infrastructure and giving refugees access to medicine through clinics and hospitals. We also provide necessary education to help these communities stay healthy even in hard conditions.

Read more about what we do here.

Partner With Us to Aid Palestinian Refugees

Since 1968, we've helped countless refugees and communities in the Middle East. When you partner with Anera, you're helping Palestinian refugees and their neighbors succeed. As a 501(c)(3), your tax-deductible gift will allow us to improve the lives of mothers, fathers, young people, grandparents and children around the world. Donate today to help change the world.