The challenges and our response
A small country of fewer than six million people, Lebanon is now hosting approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees as well as more than 300,000 Palestinians.
That means 30 percent of the country’s population are refugees, an influx that has left public services severely overstretched and deepened poverty levels. An estimated 52 percent of Syrians and 10 percent of Lebanese are extremely poor and living off of less than $2.40 a day. As a result, some 3.3 million people in Lebanon are estimated to be in need of assistance, a figure that includes both refugee and host communities.
Health Care: International Medical Corps is the largest international health actor in Lebanon. We support health care services across the country, including primary health care centres, health dispensaries, one community centre, community/social development centres, and men’s centres, making medical care available to vulnerable Syrians, Palestinians and Lebanese. This includes curative and preventative services as well as reproductive health care services, including family planning and ante- and post-natal care.
Health Education: International Medical Corps also protects the health of families by training people living in communities to serve as community health workers (CHWs) who can share health information about common diseases and make referrals as needed to health facilities. CHWs, most of whom are Syrian refugees, meet with families in their homes one-on-one and also organise health education events on health problems such as diarrhoea and lice as well as healthy habits like nutrition and food safety.
Mental health and psychosocial support: International Medical Corps has been a leader in mental health programming since it first arrived in Lebanon in 2006. It has since expanded mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services to meet the needs of Syrian refugees as well as other vulnerable populations by integrating MHPSS into the health care services provided through many of the facilities we support. We also train primary health care providers to identify, diagnose and treat mild to moderate cases of mental illnesses and disorders.
Our Impact and Work
'It never seemed to be enough': treating the mental health of refugees
One aid worker in the refugee camps of Lebanon fears that needs are still growing while funds run low