Lebanon has been facing an evolving and complex humanitarian crisis for several years, generating widespread and growing needs for humanitarian assistance and protection. The combined impacts of an economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the devastation caused by the explosion in the Port of Beirut in August 2020 are leaving growing numbers of people in urgent need of support and deepening risks for people in highly vulnerable situations.

Lebanon remains the country that hosts the highest per capita of refugees in the world, including an estimated 1.5 million from Syria, 15,800 refugees of other nationalities, mainly Iraqis, as well as 257,000 Palestinian refugees. The situation for refugees continues to worsen in the face of the growing humanitarian crisis in Lebanon. Most Syrian and Palestinian refugees were living in poverty prior to 2019 and have experienced increasingly dire circumstances since. In fact, nine out of ten Syrian refugees in Lebanon are currently living below the extreme poverty line. In addition, many Lebanese are directly impacted by the current situation.
The immense explosion at the Port of Beirut caused significant damage to nearly half of the city, including the already strained healthcare system, and further compounding the humanitarian crisis. As a result, humanitarian needs increased between 2021 and 2022 as living standards continued to deteriorate and the physical and mental wellbeing of people in Lebanon continued to worsen. The United Nations estimates that more than 80 per cent of people in Lebanon are living in multidimensional poverty, which includes lack of access to healthcare, electricity, water, sanitation, transportation, connectivity, and a means of income. Available health services cannot meet everyone’s basic healthcare needs, and maternal mortality more than doubled in 2021. Medicines that were previously subsidized have become difficult to source, with prices increasing 10-fold.
The Canadian Red Cross has a longstanding relationship with the Lebanese Red Cross and works closely with them, as well as the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, to support the needs of people in the most vulnerable situations in Lebanon. Following the explosion in Beirut, the Lebanese Red Cross provided essential support to those impacted.
Thanks to the generous support of Canadians, the Canadian Red Cross supported and continues to support the Lebanese Red Cross by:
  • Supporting its partners in the country to implement a project aimed at strengthening programming in community health, including Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights for women, men, adolescents, and children living in Lebanon.
  • Supporting four Primary Health Care Centres, two Mobile Medical Units and five mobile community outreach teams.
  • Providing an immediate cash contribution after the explosion to help the relief efforts of the Lebanese Red Cross.
  • Sending funds and personal protective equipment to support the COVID-19 care centre medical staff.
  • Increasing critical access and promoting affordable fees to community and facility-based health services across Lebanon.
  • Procuring medicine and medical supplies to help alleviate gaps in access that many people in Lebanon currently face.
  • Increasing the availability of information on health and gender, protection, and inclusion services.
  • Supporting Lebanese Red Cross Emergency Medical Services.
The Lebanese Red Cross is also prioritizing ways to sustain its vital health services, which are provided at an affordable cost to the population, to cope with the surge in demand in relation to the severe economic crisis.
You can see one family’s experience with the Beirut Port Explosion and how the Lebanese Red Cross helped them here. For more information on the response to the Beirut Port Explosion, please see the evaluation report of the Lebanese Red Cross.

You can help

The capacity of the country to cope with all these overlapping crises was nearly exhausted in 2021 and is likely further to decrease in 2022 in the absence of comprehensive long-term and sustainable solutions.
Donations made to the Lebanon Humanitarian Needs Appeal will be channeled through to the Lebanese Red Cross and Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners working in Lebanon to help those who need it most.

External Evaluation report September 2021