Change a life
Syrian refugees now make up over a quarter of the Lebanese population. Fear and tension have been building within the country.
After more than four years, fighting is continuing in Syria, with thousands of people being forced to take refuge in Lebanon. There are currently 1.2 million refugees in the country. Among the new refugees, increasing numbers of vulnerable people are being identified.
In April 2014, a survey conducted in Lebanon and Jordan by Handicap International, working in collaboration with HelpAge International, found that 5.7% of refugees, i.e. more than 90,000 people, had serious injuries. In three out of four cases, these injuries will lead to a permanent disability due both to their severity and the lack of medical attention.
Lebanon is home to a sizeable community of Palestinian refugees. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in 2013, some 455,000 Palestinian refugees were living in Lebanon. A total of 53% live in refugee camps, with the remainder housed in unofficial settlements. This community is more or less acknowledged by the Lebanese authorities. However, it is still very difficult for these people to access the country’s healthcare and education services.
Presence of landmines and explosive remnants of war
Fifteen years of civil war (1975-1990), followed by bombardments and fighting in 2006 and 2007, have taken a heavy toll in Lebanon. During the summer of 2006 alone, Israel dropped some 4 million cluster submunitions over Lebanon in under 72 hours. Even today, hundreds of thousands of unexploded cluster munitions pose a threat to the population.
Handicap International has been conducting mine clearance operations in Lebanon since 2006. Today, its demining teams are deployed in the north of the country, primarily on agricultural land.
Responding to the needs of people with disabilities is primarily focused on a package of specialist services, provided for the most part by local organisations. Campaigns have been undertaken to advance their rights, in particular by advocating for changes to the existing laws that will enable citizens with disabilities to live their lives in the same way as other people and enjoy the same rights. However, the implementation of policies and strategies to resolve disability-related issues is not systematic, particularly in the poorest or most remote regions. Generally speaking, people with disabilities in rural areas have very limited access to health, education and social protection services.
Number of HI staff members: 68 working on development programmes. In addition, some 500 people are involved in the response to the Syrian crisis in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.
Download the latest publications
- Qasef: Escaping the bombing (2016) (pdf, 4.13 MB)
- Advocacy briefing - Introduction (2015) (pdf, 123.34 KB)
- Advocacy briefing - Rehabilitation and health systems (2015) (pdf, 1.05 MB)
- Advocacy briefing - The SCOPEO tool - Measuring the impact of our interventions (2015) (pdf, 761.5 KB)