Lebanon has the largest per capita population of Syrian refugees in the world. As of 2020, the Lebanese government estimates their country hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees. Close to 300,000 Palestinian refugees also live in Lebanon. In the face of poverty, war and political instability, Lebanon works with key international organizations such as Anera to give these refugees a place to live.
Life for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Palestinian refugees first arrived in Lebanon in 1948 as they fled from the Arab-Israeli war. Today, these refugees and their descendants don't have the same rights and resources as Lebanese natives due to their legal status. Without formal citizenship, they have no social, political or economic liberties. Refugees in Lebanon also have limited job and educational opportunities and endure poor living conditions.
Lebanon refugees from Palestine live in 12 official camps,as well as informal gatherings and communities with Lebanese citizens. When Palestinian refugees originally arrived in Lebanon, refugee camps built shelters as temporary housing. However, these buildings remain, housing growing numbers of people while deteriorating over time due to restrictions on building in the camps. Many refugees still live in these structures because their lack of citizenship allows them to earn little to no income and prevents them from owning property.
The Situation for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
Syrian refugees live in informal tent settlements, abandoned buildings, or cramped spaces in the country’s decades-old Palestinian camps. This situation has put a strain on the country's already unstable economy, infrastructure and social systems — and made addressing challenges even more complicated for non-governmental organizations on the ground.
Those Syrian refugees who are able to find work usually face pay discrimination based on their refugee status. Statistics indicate that 80 percent of Syrian refugees earn less than their host country peers. And, while Syrian refugee youths are legally entitled to attend Lebanon’s public schools, they face formidable barriers, from a different language of instruction to having to work to support their families.
Lebanon Refugee Camps
About 45 percent of the 470,000 refugees registered with UNRWA in Lebanon live in the country's 12 Palestinian refugee camps. Residents of these camps deal with poor housing conditions, overcrowding, poverty, unemployment and a lack of access to justice. The 12 official Palestinian refugee camps:
- Rashidieh Camp
- Burj El Barajneh Camp
- Shatila Camp
- Beddawi Camp
- Burj El Shemali Camp
- Dbayeh Camp
- Nahr El Bared Camp
- Mar Elias Camp
- Wavel Camp
- Mieh Mieh Camp
- Ein El Hilweh Camp
- El Buss Camp
These are just three of the camps where Anera maintains programs:
Ein El Hilweh Palestinian Camp
The Ein El Hilweh camp has the largest concentration of Palestinian refugees from Lebanon and Syria in the country. Its residents face poor living conditions, limited employment opportunities and a high number of out-of-school youth.
Nahr El Bared Palestinian Camp
Nearly 30,000 Palestinian refugees, including around 1,200 Palestinian refugees from Syria, live in the Nahr El Bared camp. Armed clashes and the near-destruction of the camp led to ongoing challenges with displacement, a lack of resources and limited opportunities.
Burj El Barajneh Palestinian Camp
Located in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, the Burj El Barajneh camp has about 31,000 refugees. Limited job opportunities, restricted infrastructure and a lack of funding for schools and medical facilities lead to many difficulties for residents.
BY THE NUMBERS
Lebanon's Refugee Camps
Palestinian refugee camps
Most were created in 1948 to cope with the influx of refugees from the Arab–Israeli War.
informal Syrian tented settlements
These camps are spread all over the country, with the largest concentration in the Bekaa Valley.
"twice refugeed" Palestinians
Palestinian refugees who fled the war in Syria are flooding into Lebanon's Palestinian camps.
Aid to Lebanon Refugees
Anera's operations in Lebanon have grown substantially to cope with the refugee crisis. We have five offices throughout the country, staffed by 50 employees who all come from the communities they serve.
When you donate to Anera, you join a caring community that helps Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Lebanon and vulnerable Lebanese. We work together with other non-profits and refugee communities to provide resources in these areas:
- Education: Thanks to donors like you, tens of thousands of Lebanon's refugees learn language, math and job skills that better future opportunities.
- Health: Your donation helps families get the medicine and treatment they need in a country where few people have medical insurance.
- Water and sanitation: Youth-led initiatives use donations from people like you to create cleaner environments in Lebanese refugee camps.
- Environment: In Lebanese refugee camps, your donation will go toward efforts to make the communities greener through better solid waste management.
- Community: Your gift supports community initiatives that bring youth together, teach job skills and encourage healthy behaviors.
- Emergency: When you donate to Anera, we will use your gift to support refugees during difficult times.
Donate to Lebanon Refugees From Syria and Palestine
You can help refugees in Lebanon build better lives with your gift to Anera. Anera has decades of history of providing aid to Palestinians, Syrian refugees and other groups amidst regional conflicts.