Background to the Refugee Crisis in Lebanon:
- Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, 1.5 million refugees have fled into Lebanon from Syria.
- 91,000 have settled in south Lebanon; a region that already suffers from chronic underdevelopment in multiple sectors, including education and health.
- Within this number are 18,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria, now doubly displaced, joining the 450,000 Palestinian refugees already in Lebanon.
- All these new refugees live in the most deplorable social, economic and environmental conditions. Some live within already overcrowded and under-resourced Palestinian refugee camps, but most live in tents or disused/unfinished buildings with no basic amenities.
- Women and young children are always the most vulnerable members of displaced communities and comprise over 70% of the Syrian refugee population.
- Chronic political instability and corruption in Lebanon have simply exacerbated the situation.
- Over the past two years the country’s worst ever economic crisis, with local currency devalued by 90% and food prices increased sixfold, the devastating Beirut blast, COVID-19 pandemic and more recent cholera outbreak have resulted in a rapid and frightening escalation in the level of need within refugee and Lebanese communities; rising unemployment and poverty levels, rising levels of food insecurity and malnutrition (particularly affecting young children and pregnant/breastfeeding women), an exponential rise in mental health problems, and extremely worrying increases in reports of gender-based violence and child protection concerns.
- 1 out of 4 Syrian refugee children is stunted; short for age. Stunting is a marker of chronic malnutrition in children, is irreversible, and permanently compromises a child’s potential; in terms of their health and academic/economic success.
- The international humanitarian response has never been able to meet the daunting level of need triggered by the Syrian refugee crisis, and budgets and services have been cut drastically over the past year.
- The devastating earthquakes that hit southern Turkey and north-west Syria on 6th February 2023 killed over 42,000 people and affected millions more; given the difficulties delivering and distributing humanitarian aid within Syria large numbers were forced to flee into Lebanon to access any form of support.
Our Mobile Health Clinic Project:
- IDEALS has been working with our local partner organisation, Blue Mission, providing life-saving support for an increasing number of Syrian refugees, Palestinian refugees and poor Lebanese families in south Lebanon since 2014. We now provide essential primary health care, maternal and mental health services for a total target population of 25,000.
- All these services are provided free of charge and our team of doctors, nurse, midwife, psychologists and social workers travel to each settlement in a dedicated vehicle, maximising access to these vital services and avoiding any transport costs for beneficiaries.
- It costs £12,000 per month to provide such critical health support for 25,000 people in need; exceptional value for money, particularly in such a challenging environment.
Impact Over the Past Year, 2022-23:
As a result of the success of various fundraising activities and the generous support of a new donor and partner, United Palestinian Appeal, we have been able to provide uninterrupted services for our 25,000 beneficiaries in the south of Lebanon over the past year.
During this period the number of beneficiaries, mainly women and children, who received vital services is as follows:
Medical/nursing care (with free prescriptions): 19,244
Midwifery care: 3,068
Support from a dietician: 1,703
Psychosocial support services: 9,494
Mental health services: 182
This project provides critical, lifesaving health services for some of the most marginalised communities in the world. With the level of need increasing rapidly we hope to continue and expand our support over the coming year and beyond. Two case studies that demonstrate the impact of our services perfectly can be found here.
Conditions in a tented settlement in Tyre