Despite the trauma of a 15 year-long civil war between 1975-1990, Lebanon remains a major Middle Eastern financial and cultural centre. However, it is also home to thousands of Iraqi refugees escaping turmoil in their own country.
Today, International Medical Corps helps Lebanon handle the needs of the thousands of Iraqis who sought refuge there. We provide primary health care, secondary health care and psychosocial services to both Iraqi refugees and the local host population. We engage Iraqi and Lebanese youth in sports activities as part of our psychosocial work in Lebanon. Together with other international and local humanitarian relief groups, International Medical Corps is helping coordinate the process of refugee returns to Iraq.
International Medical Corps is also investing in Lebanon’s long term development. We currently support seven primary health care clinics and one referral clinic that provide accessible, effective and affordable health services to Iraqi refugees and vulnerable host populations. The focus of the primary health care clinics is prevention and health maintenance. Services include routine physical examinations, child health monitoring, immunisations, referrals, and family planning.
International Medical Corps also operates five Mobile Medical Unit (MMU) teams, which move amongst refugee communities identifying those in need and begin initial treatment at home. International Medical Corps’ clinics provide around 100 consultations per day and serve a total catchment population of approximately 50,000 people.
International Medical Corps partnered with local Lebanese organisation, KAFA, to raise awareness about gender based violence (GBV) and to provide counselling for victims of domestic violence. We are also piloting a programme that provides psychological and counselling services to male perpetrators of domestic violence.
We also support activities conducted by the Danish- Middle Eastern organisation (GAM3) which uses sports to break down barriers between youth from different religious or ethnic backgrounds. Recently, GBV awareness-raising games were developed and incorporated into the GAM3 curricula.
International Medical Corps is active in efforts to institutionalise the UN’s Inter-Agency Standing Committee mental health guidelines in Lebanon, working closely with psychiatrists and psychologists from the Ministry of Health, the Lebanese Order of Psychiatrists and the American University of Beirut.