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Lebanon: Escalations in violence

24 October 2023 Lebanon Planning response

An increase in hostilities due to the ongoing instability in the region, with fears that it may become embroiled in further conflict.

Lebanon, a small country on the Mediterranean coast, is home to around six million people – over half of which are in need of humanitarian assistance. Many people in Lebanon – including increasing numbers of refugees and asylum seekers – are simply unable to meet their basic needs and rely on humanitarian aid for survival. Our programmes aim to provide refugees with support both inside Lebanon and along the border in their time of need.

With millions of people across Lebanon in need of humanitarian and/or financial assistance, many families are struggling to survive. Vast numbers of asylum seekers and refugees have sought protection in Lebanon including almost one million Syrians and approximately 470,000 Palestinians. What’s more, with 1.5 million Lebanese people in need of financial assistance, resources are unable to meet all the required needs.

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The situation in Lebanon

Many people in Lebanon – including increasing numbers of refugees and asylum seekers – are simply unable to meet their basic needs and rely on humanitarian aid for survival.


of the Lebanese population are out of work (UNDP, 2017)


of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance (UN OCHA, 2016)

900, 000

Syrians are registered as refugees in Lebanon (UNHCR, 2019)

450, 000

Palestinian refugees live in Lebanon (UNRWA, 2018)

Islamic Relief in Lebanon

Established in 2006, Islamic Relief Lebanon was a frontline responder during the devastating Lebanon War. As part of our emergency response, Islamic Relief supported communities affected by conflict and displacement by providing essentials such as food, clean water, hygiene products, sleeping materials, and warm meals. Additionally, during this challenging period we played a significant role in enhancing mental health and overall wellbeing by implementing psychosocial support interventions.  

Islamic Relief Lebanon was the first international aid agency to reach survivors of the Qana massacre, who had been without food or water for approximately 20 days. Our life-saving efforts were appreciated by Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Fuoad Siniora, who met with 1 of our founders, Dr Hany El-banna, in 2006.

Following the initial emergency phase, Islamic Relief shifted focus towards reconstruction endeavours, including repairing hospitals and water facilities, and redirected efforts to initiatives aiming for a longer-term impact. Our Orphan Sponsorship Programme began in 2006 and has been an ongoing commitment to vulnerable children in Lebanon ever since. 

Islamic Relief Lebanon has responded to numerous emergencies, among them the 2020 ‘Beirut blast’. We offered emergency shelter to individuals who lost their homes in the explosion and supplied 12 health facilities with fuel, medical equipment, supplies, and ready-to-eat food, enabling them to sustain medical aid for the affected. Additionally, we initiated a programme to repair homes that were damaged. Our commitment extends to ongoing assistance for families grappling with the aftermath of war and the economic crisis in Lebanon.

Islamic Relief in action

Amid the Lebanon War in July 2006, many water facilities were damaged and contaminated, leading to the spread of life-threatening waterborne diseases in communities. With funding from the United Nations agency UNICEF, Islamic Relief initiated a lifesaving project in the Nahr al-Bared camp, where displaced people from Lebanon and Palestine were sheltering.

Our efforts began with supplying clean water to the camp via trucks, and constructing a water tank, ensuring residents had consistent access to safe and clean water. 

Image: Vulnerable families in Lebanon receive a Ramadan food parcel provided by Islamic Relief.

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