Population: 6.8 Million
Development Context: Refugee population, urban, high density
Refugee Population: 1.5 Million (Syrian) 475,075 (Palestinian, UNRWA) 18,000 (Iraqi, Sudanese and other)


  • Lebanon is host to the largest number of refugees per capita [1]
  • About a third of Lebanese citizens live in poverty [2]
  • 27.4% of Lebanon’s total resident population is youth (aged 15-29)
  • 24% of these youth are Syrian, 5% are Palestinian and the remaining 71% are Lebanese or of other nationalities[3]

Key Issues

  • Lebanon’s public finances, service delivery, and the environment are strained by the effect of the Syrian refugee crisis, where 1.5 million Syrians, about a quarter of the Lebanese population, have taken refuge in Lebanon since the conflict erupted in March 2011. [4]

Current Situation

  • On October 17, 2019, protests erupted in Lebanon in response to the dire economic situation.
  • The country suffers from long-running shortages in government-provided electricity and water as well as a trash that began in 2015.
  • Many Lebanese cannot find job opportunities, and are living in extreme poverty due to the high cost of living and constant political strife.


  • Many people live in sub-standard living conditions, and cannot afford to pay their rent.
  • Medical costs and high prices of medicine mean that many people skip doctor visits.
  • With the ongoing demonstrations, many business have closed, people have lost their jobs or are going months without pay due to a shortage of U.S. dollars in the country’s banks.
  • Inflation of goods, the scarcity of basic commodities and fuel, and the devaluation of the Lebanese currency has left people on the brink of desperation.

UMR Response

  • In response to the current crisis in Lebanon, UMR will deliver medicine, food, water, cash vouchers, and complete home renovations for some of the most vulnerable people affected.
  • UMR Lebanon applies a holistic approach to address the regional refugee crisis in the whole of the Middle East. Our objective is to alleviate poverty for refugees and host communities so that they are able to live with dignity and to be resilient/self-reliant.
  • As such, our cross-cutting seasonal programs aim to shoulder the burden of the Lebanese government as a refugee-host country.


[1] http://reporting.unhcr.org/sites/default/files/UNHCR%20Lebanon%20Fact%20Sheet%20-%20February%202019.pdf
[2] https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/WFP-0000111565.pdf
[4] https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/lebanon/overview


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