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Country analysis

Lebanon


Lebanon is facing a humanitarian crisis driven by socioeconomic issues and periods of mounting insecurity in the south of the country, at the border with Israel. The country also hosts high numbers of Syrian refugees requiring assistance.

Since at least 2019, mounting public debt, high fiscal deficit, and political instability have been driving the socioeconomic crisis in the country, resulting in the devaluation of the Lebanese pound, increased unemployment and multidimensional poverty, business closures, inflation, limited access to foreign exchange and imports, and decreased foreign remittances.

The Lebanese Government estimates that around 1.5 million Syrian refugees reside in Lebanon, besides around 489,300 Palestinian refugees and around 11,600 refugees of other nationalities. With the Lebanese population of 5.3 million, these figures make Lebanon the country with the biggest refugee-to-resident population ratio. Almost the entire Syrian population in Lebanon lives on an income that does not cover basic needs. Around 27% of Syrian refugees in the country are food-insecure.

Since 8 October 2023, the escalation of tensions between Hezbollah and Israel has displaced nearly 90,000 people from southern Lebanon to central and northern parts of the country, disrupting their livelihoods and increasing their needs for shelter, food, and cash assistance. (IPC 07/12/2023, OCHA 23/02/2024, UNHCR 31/08/2023, USAID 02/11/2023, Reuters 23/01/2022)

Lebanon is facing a humanitarian crisis driven by socioeconomic issues and periods of mounting insecurity in the south of the country, at the border with Israel. The country also hosts high numbers of Syrian refugees requiring assistance.

Since at least 2019, mounting public debt, high fiscal deficit, and political instability have been driving the socioeconomic crisis in the country, resulting in the devaluation of the Lebanese pound, increased unemployment and multidimensional poverty, business closures, inflation, limited access to foreign exchange and imports, and decreased foreign remittances.

The Lebanese Government estimates that around 1.5 million Syrian refugees reside in Lebanon, besides around 489,300 Palestinian refugees and around 11,600 refugees of other nationalities. With the Lebanese population of 5.3 million, these figures make Lebanon the country with the biggest refugee-to-resident population ratio. Almost the entire Syrian population in Lebanon lives on an income that does not cover basic needs. Around 27% of Syrian refugees in the country are food-insecure.

Since 8 October 2023, the escalation of tensions between Hezbollah and Israel has displaced nearly 90,000 people from southern Lebanon to central and northern parts of the country, disrupting their livelihoods and increasing their needs for shelter, food, and cash assistance. (IPC 07/12/2023, OCHA 23/02/2024, UNHCR 31/08/2023, USAID 02/11/2023, Reuters 23/01/2022)

Latest updates on country situation

14 May 2024

The clashes between Hezbollah and Israel that started on 8 October 2023 have disrupted education access for about 20,000 children, mostly in southern Lebanon. By the end of April, conflict escalation and insecurity had closed over 70 schools. The closure of 23 health facilities had also disrupted healthcare access. (UNICEF 30/04/2024)

23 April 2024

At least 1.5 million Syrians live in Lebanon, including 815,000 who are registered with UNHCR. They have needs across all sectors but mostly food, protection, education, and livelihoods. A rise in violence against Syrian refugees was reported following the death of an official from the Lebanese Forces party on 8 April, which was attributed to a group of Syrian refugees. There has been a rise in informal checkpoints, curfews, acts of violence in the street, and threats of mass evictions in some neighbourhoods. Arbitrary detention and deportation are already a protection concern for Syrians. In 2023, at least 500 refugees were returned to Syria. The impact of the economic crisis and the war between Hezbollah and Israel on the living conditions of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon is increasing needs among the refugees in Lebanon. (3RP 05/03/2024, The National News 23/04/2024, TNH 22/04/2024)

19 March 2024

In 2024, 90% of the 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon continue to require humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs. Food needs are particularly high, as only 5% of the refugees are considered food-secure. Nearly 85% are unable to access needed medication. (UNHCR 15/03/2024)

21 February 2024

Clashes between Hezbollah and Israel along the Blue Line border area have been intensifying since mid-February 2024, affecting civilians in southern Lebanon. Two air strikes on Ghaziyeh town on 19 February are considered the largest attacks near a key population centre, Saida city. As at 13 February, the violence had displaced more than 88,000 people from border areas in southern Lebanon, mostly to El Nabatieh, Saida, and Sour cities. Since 8 October, Israeli air strikes have killed nearly 40 civilians, including children. Most of the displaced people are hosted by families and relatives. Others reside in temporary housing or collective shelters. Their needs include food, healthcare, cash assistance, and education. Insecurity is highly restricting humanitarian access to an estimated 60,000 people still in border villages in southern Lebanon, where they struggle to access basic services. (OCHA 15/02/2024, Al Jazeera 19/02/2024, IOM 15/02/2024)

11 February 2024

A cold wave has been affecting Lebanon since 24 January 2024, affecting nearly three million people with heavy rainfall, snowfall, and strong winds. The most affected governorates include Akkar, Baalbak-Hermel, Bekaa, and Mount Lebanon. The affected people are in need of fuel for heating, access to clean drinking water, and livelihoods. (IFRC 02/02/2024)

03 January 2024

Between 8 October and 26 December, nearly 75,000 people were displaced and about 20 civilians killed in southern Lebanon because of the hostilities at the border between Hezbollah and Israel. Access to health services for the people remaining in southern areas is limited because of the closure of six primary healthcare centres.
(OCHA 30/12/2023)

27 November 2023

As at 21 November 2023, clashes between Hezbollah and Israel displaced more than 55,400 people from southern Lebanon and killed at least 13 civilians. The displaced are staying with host families, in rented accommodation, or in other informal settlements. Their needs include shelter, education, food, and NFIs. (OCHA 26/11/2023, IOM 23/11/2023)

current crises
in Lebanon


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

LBN002 - Syrian refugees

Last updated 17/04/2024


Drivers

Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.1 High

Access constraints

3.0

LBN004 - Socioeconomic crisis

Last updated 17/04/2024


Drivers

Socio-political
Violence
Tecnological Disaster

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.5 High

Access constraints

3.0

REG004 - Syrian Regional Crisis

Last updated 27/11/2023


Drivers


Crisis level

Regional

Severity level

4.2 Very High

Access constraints

4.0

Analysis products
on Lebanon

Lebanon: the effect of the socioeconomic crisis on healthcare

19 October 2023

Lebanon: the effect of the socioeconomic crisis on healthcare

DOCUMENT / PDF / 364 KB

The report mainly focuses on the impact of the socioeconomic crisis on the availability of medication, people’s access to healthcare services, and the status of the health infrastructure in Lebanon. It also compares the country’s healthcare performance before 2019 with the present. 

Health
Ripple effects of the conflict in Ukraine: truths and myths

22 December 2022

Ripple effects of the conflict in Ukraine: truths and myths

DOCUMENT / PDF / 4 MB

This report provides a commentary on relevant datasets as it examines trends related to the economic effects of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine on selected countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. 

Conflict and violenceEconomy
Lebanon: Impact of crisis on children

31 May 2022

Lebanon: Impact of crisis on children

DOCUMENT / PDF / 403 KB

This report aims to increase awareness of the scale and severity of the economic crisis in Lebanon over the past three years. It describes how the crisis disproportionately affects children and is likely to have shortand long-term consequences on their future.

Protection
Lebanon: Vulnerable and Affected Areas in Greater Beirut

22 September 2020

Lebanon: Vulnerable and Affected Areas in Greater Beirut

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

This report presents a comprehensive review of secondary and primary data available on the most affected areas and the main vulnerable groups within the population affected by the blast. It was developed by ACAPS, REACH, MapAction, Mercy Corps, and OCHA/UNDAC, with support from the Lebanese Red Cross and Emergency Operation Cell partners. 

Lebanon: Analysis of humanitarian needs in Greater Beirut

25 August 2020

Lebanon: Analysis of humanitarian needs in Greater Beirut

DOCUMENT / PDF / 3 MB

This report presents a comprehensive review of secondary and primary data available on the main sectoral needs for the affected population following the Beirut blast. It was developed by ACAPS, REACH, MapAction, Mercy Corps, and OCHA/UNDAC, with support from the Lebanese Red Cross and Emergency Operation Cell partners. 

View more