• Crisis Severity ?
    3.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    2.9
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    4.1
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    3.2
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    3.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Special Reports

25/08/2020

Overview

18/05/2021

Lebanon is facing a major socioeconomic crisis due to years of mounting public debt and a high fiscal deficit. The socioeconomic humanitarian crisis is driven by Lebanese pound devaluation, increased unemployment and poverty, business closures, inflation, limited access to foreign exchange and imports, and decreased foreign remittances. While the entire country has felt the economic hardship, the already poor and vulnerable Lebanese and refugee populations have been particularly affected ?.

An estimated 1.5 million members of the most vulnerable Lebanese populations, 1.5 million Syrian refugees, 180,000 Palestinian refugees from Lebanon, and 27,700 Palestinian refugees from Syria are considered vulnerable and in need of humanitarian assistance ?.  Crisis conditions were further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Beirut port explosion in August 2020 ?

The economic crisis has increased the poverty rate, which reached 45% in 2019 from 30% in 2018 and 27.4% in 2011–2012. It is expected that more than half of the population will be living in poverty by 2021. In the second half of 2020, roughly 35% of all Lebanese households faced challenges accessing food and meeting other basic needs, with 49% of households experiencing food shortages and 22% consuming inadequate diets (i.e., poor and borderline food consumption). The unemployment rate reached 49% in 2020 – a drastic increase from 11% in 2019 ?.

Latest Developments

13/10/2021

Two main power plants ran out of fuel and stopped working on 9 October, pausing all electricity generation in Lebanon for one day, until more fuel was delivered by the army. Lebanon's power plants provided only a few hours of electricity per day prior to the outage, leaving most of the Lebanese population dependent on private generators. These are increasingly expensive because of extreme fuel shortages and the economic crisis. Fuel and food prices have also been increasing due to high inflation rates and depreciation of the Lebanese pound, resulting in the multidimensional poverty rate (calculated with 20 indicators across 6 dimensions such as health, public utilities, housing) reaching 82% in 2021, double the rate reported in 2019. The number of people reporting challenges to obtain food and meet their other basic needs, including healthcare, has been increasing among the Lebanese population and Syrian refugees ?

Humanitarian Access

21/07/2021

HIGH CONSTRAINTS

Humanitarian access remains constrained as a result of extensive disruptions of public infrastructure and basic services and the rapidly rising inflation of the Lebanese pound. This has resulted in major price increases and a lack of key items, including food, medicine, and fuel. Protests and riots hampering the movement of people and services are very common in Lebanon. Refugees and migrants without civil documentation can access humanitarian aid but face movement restrictions, risk of detention, and severe obstacles in completing civil registration procedures. The lack of documentation also significantly limits their access to public services, including healthcare, and formal employment. Undocumented refugees are more exposed to intercommunal conflict but less likely to receive assistance if affected by violence. The lack of foreign currency constitutes an important operational challenge for humanitarian organisations working in Lebanon. The cold temperatures, storms, and flooding during January–March 2021 reduced refugees’ mobility and access to aid.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

UPDATE FROM THE MARCK 2021 RISK ANALYSIS

26/10/2021

Subsidies for basic goods are removed, leading to a marked deterioration of economic conditions and food insecurity and an increase in political violence

The risk of deterioration of economic conditions resulting from subsidies removal has been gradually materialising over the past six months. In July, the Government stopped subsidising medications that cost less than 10,000 Lebanese pounds (LBP)?. Fuel subsidies were significantly reduced following the removal of the preferential official government exchange rate price in June. The exchange rate rose from LBP 1,500 to USD 1 to LBP 3,900 to USD 1?. The exchange rate for fuel prices increased again in August and reached LBP 14,000 to USD 1 in September?. The significant fuel price increase resulted in fuel shortages and hoarding and affected essential services in Lebanon, including healthcare, power supply, and water treatment?.

The currency devaluation led to a significant increase in basic commodities prices. The LBP hit a record low in July–August when it traded between LBP 18,000–22,000 to USD 1 on the parallel market, while the official rate remained at LBP 1,507 to USD 1?...

Read the full analysis in the Global Risk report - March 2021

COVID-19 Outbreak

18/05/2021

Lebanon recorded 535,954 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7,631 associated deaths as at 18 May 2021.?

Since November 2020, the Lebanese Government has adopted several measures to control the spike in COVID-19 cases. The Government issued a three-day complete lockdown during the Orthodox Easter celebrations. A curfew from 21:30 to 5:00 was issued on 12 April and lasted throughout the month of Ramadan. Previously, Lebanon declared a 'state of emergency' between 14–25 January (with a possible extension) to contain the coronavirus surge, imposing a 24-hour curfew throughout the country. Measures taken to mitigate the transfer of the virus include partial or full lockdowns, limited capacity in public and private gatherings, and an odd/even rotation rule concerning transportation. ?

These restrictions have mobilised the communities, which were already in deep economic and financial crisis. Protests and riots – mainly in the streets of Tripoli and Saida – intensified at the end of January because of the coronavirus lockdown, as well the worsening socioeconomic situation.?

Find more information about the global impact of COVID-19 here.

Key Priorities

18/05/2021

Food security: between November–December 2020, 41% of Lebanese households faced challenges meeting their basic needs – an increase from 36% in September–October 2020. Roughly 85% of all Lebanese households reported consuming cheaper and less preferred food ?.

Livelihoods: in 2020, two out of three Lebanese households suffered from a reduced income – an increase from the previous year – and food was a major source of concern. Overall poverty in Lebanon will likely continue to worsen and affect all population groups. More than half of the Lebanese population and the entire refugee population are expected to be living in poverty by 2021 ?

WASH: Lebanon lacks a comprehensive solid waste management strategy and relies on costly landfills. The Beirut port explosion further damaged the waste management infrastructure. The inefficiency of waste management exposes the population to higher health and environmental risks ?.

Info Gaps

18/05/2021
  • Figures on poverty levels change rapidly and different sources mention different estimates.
  • There is no official figure regarding the number of jobs lost since October 2019.