Lebanon’s population is facing increasing poverty levels, food insecurity, and disease outbreaks.
While prices are skyrocketing due to a severe economic crisis, 1.68 million Lebanese residents and Syrian refugees are food insecure, with needs expected to grow even more.
Some 90% of Syrians, 73% of Palestinian refugees, and over 50% of Lebanese households need assistance.
Lebanon has struggled to deal with emergencies like the Beirut port blast, COVID-19, and the latest cholera outbreak. The EU has stepped up its humanitarian aid to address the growing humanitarian needs.
What are the needs?
Lebanon is facing a severe economic and political crisis political and economic that has led to widespread poverty, collapsing public services, and growing community tensions. The situation has been worsened by a global food and fuel crisis.
In a country that hosts the highest number of refugees per capita in the world, many people now live under the poverty line. The Lebanese pound’s depreciation and hyperinflation have significantly reduced people’s purchasing power.
An EU co-funded needs assessment shows that all population groups struggle to cover their basic needs, particularly food and health care.
Access to health care has been drastically reduced due to financial barriers and shortages of medicines and supplies. A brain drain of health staff is ongoing while power cuts leave hospitals running at half capacity, admitting critical cases only.
Public services were already struggling before the economic crisis. Now, they are on the brink of collapse, reaching emergency thresholds.
Syrian refugee families in informal settlements and collective shelters often live in deplorable, substandard conditions. 6 out of 10 school-aged migrants and Syrian refugees are out of school, while over 10% of Lebanese children dropped out.
On 6 October, the country declared its first cholera outbreak since 1993. Dilapidated water infrastructure and bad sanitation make it more difficult to stop the spread of the disease.
How are we helping?
In 2023, the EU allocated €60 million in humanitarian aid to help people in Lebanon.
Since 2011, we have allocated almost €860 million in humanitarian aid to respond to urgent needs in Lebanon.
Our support initially focused solely on the Syrian refugees at the outset of the Syria regional crisis. However, due to the severely deteriorating situation for the Lebanese population, EU humanitarian support is now delivered based on needs – both to Syrians and Lebanese who need it most.
The EU-organised Brussels Conferences aim to address the needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. EU humanitarian funding helps Syrian refugees meet basic needs through protection, legal, health, and education support.
After a cholera outbreak was declared on 6 October 2022, the EU started funding community-based water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions in areas with clusters of cholera cases.
We continue to support services for at-risk children and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. We also fund the UN Refugee Agency and other partners to provide legal aid for essential documentation and access to legal stay.
Education in emergencies is a priority for the EU. In Lebanon, we ensure Syrian out-of-school children can access non-formal education and try to facilitate their transition into formal education.
In the health sector, the EU supports access to quality health care, including via the procurement of medicines.
Last updated: 30/03/2023
Facts & figures
People in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA):
- 2.3 million Lebanese
- 1.2 million Syrian refugees
- 211,000 Palestinian refugees
- 98,000 migrants
Estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees living in the country (UN)
€60 million in humanitarian aid in 2023
€2.7 billion since 2011, including almost €860 million in humanitarian aid