DRC Lebanon has been operating in the country since 2004 with the objective of providing protection and assistance to Palestinian refugees, Iraqi refugees and migrant workers. Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011, DRC Lebanon has been able to capitalize on its presence and its expertise in emergency response to address the urgent needs and rights of displaced Syrians seeking refuge in Lebanon. DRC Lebanon is one of the leading humanitarian organisations in the country, working closely and in alignment with the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP) and providing assistance to the Lebanese government to support displaced people programs.
The Lebanese government and people are hosting the highest per capita concentration of Syrian refugees in the world. With an existing population of more than 4,500,000, Lebanon’s population has grown by 25% since the outbreak of the crisis four years ago- taking in 1.3 million Syrians registered as refugees with UNHCR, including 825,000 women and children. These circumstances would have an impact on even the most developed national infrastructure and essential services. However, following decades of civil war, Lebanon was only beginning to recover and stabilise its public services and provide for its own vulnerable communities. While the welcoming efforts of the Lebanese people should be recognised and applauded, after four years of the Syrian crisis there are clear signs that the hosting capacity of the country is close to exhaustion. Regions of Lebanon with the highest concentrations of Syrians – also those bordering Syria – have seen an increase in social tensions and armed conflicts throughout 2014-2015. As a result, the Government of Lebanon has taken steps to enforce a Country Refugee Policy in the course of 2015, resulting in a more restrictive environment for refugees.
Sectors of intervention
- Food security and livelihoods
Integrated Emergency preparedness and response:
Since 2011 DRC has responded to the needs and rights of displacement affected population in acute emergency situations by providing basic assistance such as food and non-food items and safe housing to vulnerable families. Through its direct assistance, protection and shelter interventions, DRC ensures that households receive an assistance package customised to their specific needs. Moreover, DRC work to build the capacity of local authorities and communities surrounding emergency preparedness and response to contribute to improving the coordination of emergency response at the local level.
Solutions to displacement:
As durable solutions to Syrian crises are not likely to be imminent, DRC works towards preserving the protection space for refugees from Syria with specialized protection services for children and survivors of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and by building the capacity of pre-selected strategic local partners. DRC maintains a Collective Shelter Management and Coordination (CSMC) approach in locations where refugees from Syria are gathered. This will ensure regular contact with refugees where they are located, build trust and lay the basis for stronger acceptance and willingness by the refugee committee to engage in self- governance and conflict mitigation activities. Through its Community Centers, DRC is exploring and initiating livelihood opportunities to promote economic self-reliance of refugees within the accepted legal space that could be relevant upon return to Syria. The volatile social, economic, and security situation in many areas within Lebanon and Syria makes the return to the country of origin an unviable solution, in addition to the extremely limited space among the host communities for local integration. Based on the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol, DRC supports the Government of Canada for the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
Resilience and Social Stability:
Lebanese host communities have experienced a deterioration of their living conditions including access to social services, worsening services and security situation as well as shrinking livelihood opportunities, in addition to the existing strained political relations between Lebanon and Syria that’s highly visible in some areas of Lebanon. This has aggravated social tension, fostered negative perceptions of Syrian refugees and limited social contact between the two sides. DRC acknowledges the need for recovery initiatives to strengthen the resilience of host communities and initiated small scale community-led projects that have the potential to mobilise locals and local authorities as well as the refugee population. Moreover, DRC is exploring opportunities to implement local development initiatives that could bridge the gap of perceptions between host and refugee communities while at the same time generate economic benefits in the form of for instance local job creation.
DRC donors in Lebanon
DRC partners in Lebanon