Answering the Call in Lebanon
Islamic Relief has been working in Lebanon for over a decade, with work beginning in 2006 in response to a humanitarian crisis caused by war. After the initial emergency phase, Islamic Relief began focusing on reconstruction efforts, such as hospital rehabilitation and water facility repairs, and Islamic Relief Lebanon opened to continue long-term efforts.
A Legacy of Service and Hope
Lebanon, once prosperous, was hobbled by a 15-year civil war that cut its national output in half. After the war ended in 1990, Lebanon rebuilt much of its infrastructure, but political instability continued to take a heavy toll through 2008. A period of relative stability and a subsequent revival in tourism helped the country grow economically, and unemployment is a low 6.4%. Still, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people are unable to meet their basic needs — about 27% live below the national poverty line. Much of the poverty is concentrated in the north.
The north of Lebanon has been most severely strained by an influx of refugees crossing the border from Syria due to the ongoing crisis there. 1.5 million Syrian refugees have now been registered in Lebanon—a country whose own population does not exceed 4.4. million. In a country already suffering from weak infrastructure, the high percentage of refugees greatly affects both the economic and social climate.
Islamic Relief USA is working with our donors to help both refugees and native Lebanese families who live in impoverished conditions. As we celebrate 25 years of service, we look forward to continuing important work in Lebanon. Read more about our legacy in the Middle East.