Lebanon’s population is facing increasing poverty levels, food insecurity, and disease outbreaks.
While prices are skyrocketing due to a severe economic crisis, almost half of the Lebanese and 2/3 of the 1.5 million Syrian refugees are food insecure.
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 a recently declared cholera outbreak. The EU has stepped up its humanitarian aid to address the growing humanitarian needs.
What are the needs?
Once a relatively affluent country, Lebanon’s political and economic crisis has resulted in widespread poverty, collapsing public services and growing community tensions. A global food and fuel crisis has exacerbated the already dire situation.
In a country that hosts the highest number of refugees per capita in the world, many people now live under the poverty line. The depreciation of the Lebanese pound and hyperinflation have obliterated the population’s purchasing power.
An EU co-funded needs assessment published in April 2022 shows that all population groups struggle to cover their basic needs, particularly food and health care.
Financial barriers and shortages of medicines and supplies have drastically reduced access to health care. A brain drain of health staff is ongoing while power cuts leave hospitals running at half capacity, admitting critical cases only.
Syrian refugee families in informal settlements and collective shelters tend to live in deplorable, substandard conditions.
4 out of 10 school-aged migrants and Syrian refugees are out of school, while 14% of Lebanese children dropped out during 2020-2021.
On 6 October, the country declared the first cholera outbreak since 1993. Dilapidated water infrastructure and bad sanitation are making it more difficult to stop the spread of the disease.
How are we helping?
In 2022, the EU allocated €77.6 million in humanitarian aid to help people in Lebanon.
Following Lebanon’s socio-economic crisis and the release of an alarming multi-sector needs assessment in April 2022, the EU announced €20 million in humanitarian aid to support the most vulnerable Lebanese with food, health, and protection services.
In May 2022, as part of the Syria crisis response across the region, the EU pledged €50 million in humanitarian aid.
The pledged funding, announced during the Brussels VI Conference, aims to address the needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The EU helps Syrian refugees meet basic needs through protection, legal, health, and education support.
In October 2022, the EU mobilised an additional €5 million to increase its support to vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugees. The funding will cover multi-purpose cash assistance to address the effects of the global food crisis.
After a cholera outbreak was declared on 6 October 2022, the EU allocated an additional €800,000. It will provide community-based water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in areas with clusters of cholera cases.
Since 2011, the EU has allocated almost €800 million in humanitarian aid to respond to urgent needs in Lebanon.
Before 2020, EU humanitarian funding mainly focused on Syrian refugees and their host communities. However, it increasingly supports vulnerable Lebanese impacted by various crises.
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: 11/11/2022
Facts & figures
People in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA):
- 2.2 million Lebanese
- 1.2 million Syrian refugees
- 208,000 Palestinian refugees
- 78,000 migrants
Estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees living in the country (UN)
Number of registered refugees:
- More than 825,000 Syrians
- 28,000 Palestinians from Syria
- 180,000 Palestinians
- 20,000 other nationalities (UN)
€77.6 million in humanitarian aid in 2022
€2.7 billion since 2011, including almost €800 million in humanitarian aid