Lebanon is trying hard to cope with the influx of Syrian refugees. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million Syrian and Palestinian residents have fled to Lebanon since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011. This small country has since been trying to deal with their acute humanitarian and health needs.
Overview of the Lebanon Crisis
Lebanon is one of the countries seriously affected by the Syrian crisis. With a population of less than 6 million, it has the highest number of Syrian refugees per capita. Since December 2018, around 950,000 Syrian refugees have been registered in the country. However, it is estimated that Lebanon has opened its borders to approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees. More than half of the refugees are children who have fled before the war in Syria with their families and face serious health and mental health problems. The majority (76%) of the displaced Syrians live below the poverty line. Missing personal documents prevent refugees from accessing basic services and legal employment, limit their free movement and increase the risk of fines, arrests, detentions, exploitation and expulsion.
According to Lebanese statistics, 1.5 million vulnerable Lebanese live in the country below the poverty line, of which 470,000 are children. The total number of people in need in Lebanon is approximately 3.3 million.
How is MAGNA helping in Lebanon?
In 2018, in Lebanon, MAGNA carried out medical and psychosocial interventions for Syrian refugees in informal settlements as well as for vulnerable Lebanese people affected by the Syrian crisis in the Baalbek Hermel region. Through its projects, MAGNA has provided medical and psychological care for at least 40,000 people in the primary health center in Baalbek and through a mobile unit in specific settlements in the Baalbek Hermel area, which hosts nearly 120,000 refugees.
The health care system in Lebanon is overloaded and has almost no capacity to absorb more cases. Given that most services are accessible only in private clinics, high prices for services are the most commonly cited barrier to access to health care for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese people. In 2018, 13% of refugee households did not have access to healthcare and more than half could not afford to see a doctor and other medical expenses. Childhood diseases, such as fever, cough and diarrhea, increased in 2018. Violence against women and sexual and gender-based violence are a common problem in terms of the safety of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.Activity Report 2018