Despite recent conflicts and its tense political relationship with Israel and, at times, with Syria, Lebanon is currently a relatively stable country. As a result, many refugees, particularly from neighbouring Syria, have sought safety in Lebanon. Lebanon has the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide, hosting more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees, over 952,000 of whom are registered, as well as large populations of Palestinian refugees and Palestinian refugees from Syria. ?? Lebanon also hosts some 6,000 Iraqi refugees.?
Tensions between host and refugee populations are frequent as the high number of refugees arriving from Syria since 2012 has put pressure on the already strained Lebanese economy. Food prices and house rents have increased and competition for jobs has grown. The protracted refugee crisis in Lebanon also puts pressure on the health and education systems, making it harder for both refugees and host communities to access basic services. The poor services and livelihoods conditions are also the result of past conflicts, years of political impasse, and the mismanagement of natural resources. In addition, refugees in Lebanon face significant protection issues, including lack of documentation, forced returns, evictions and discrimination.?
INFORM measures Lebanon’s risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be medium, at 5.3/10. Vulnerability is of particular concern, at 6.3/10.?
18/01: Floods, snow and heavy storms severely affect more than 23,000 Syrian refugees living in Bekaa, Akkar and Baalbek Hermel governorates. More than 70,000 Syrian refugees living in makeshift houses are at risk as new storms are expected. Adequate shelter and NFIs are priority needs. More than 1000 Syrian refugees have been displaced and evacuated as more than 360 refugees sites were severely damaged. Access, especially in flooded informal refugee settlements in the Bekaa Valley, remains limited.?
WASH: In Lebanon, WASH is a need for refugees as well as for host communities. In particular, the WASH systems lack the capacity to cope with the influx of refugees.? At end of 2017, 64% of the Lebanese population did not have access to safe drinking water.? Sanitation facilities are also inadequate to cope with the increasing demand. Waste management is another significant issue in Lebanon: open burning and the consequent inhalation of smoke from the burned waste is having health effects on the population living near solid waste dumps.?
Protection: Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon face a number of protection issues. Yet, Palestinian refugees – and Palestinian refugees from Lebanon (PRL) in particular- are less subject to evictions or forced returns. Legal documentation remains the major protection concern in Lebanon both for Palestinians and Syrian refugees. The lack of documentation prevents refugees from accessing basic services and from being legally employed. It also limits their free movement and puts them at risk of fines, arrests, detention, exploitation, and deportation. Lebanese authorities have become increasingly more hostile towards Syrian refugees.? An increasing number of evictions have displaced Syrians, particularly in the Bekaa Valley and Mount Lebanon Governorate.?
Information Gaps and needs
The conditions and needs of Lebanese returnees from Syria remain unknown as little attention is paid to this group.
No new figures of Iraqi refugees in Lebanon have been published since May 2017 and there is a lack of information on the status and living conditions of Iraqi refugees in Lebanon.
Information on the conditions at the border with Syria is limited.