Lebanon, on the eastern Mediterranean coast, is a small and densely populated country. Despite its location in one of the world’s most unsettled regions, it has been spared the worst of the political and economic woes besetting some of its neighbours.
Its geographical position and relatively peaceful climate have made it a destination for people fleeing conflict in Syria. Since May 2011, more than 1.1 million Syrians have crossed the border into Lebanon. While the Government and people of Lebanon have generously extended hospitality to those in need, the refugees’ presence has increased the resident population by almost one quarter. This has strained resources and put local communities under pressure.
Initially concentrated in the north of the country, the refugees have since fanned out to the larger urban centres – the Bekaa Valley, Tripoli, Beirut and Sidon. Almost all of Lebanon’s municipalities now host Syrian refugees.
While food is readily available for purchase in Lebanon, many refugees have exhausted their savings and are totally dependent on external support to access that food.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Lebanon
WFP runs an e-card system as its primary form of food assistance for vulnerable Syrians in Lebanon who cannot meet their basic food needs. E-cards are loaded each month with US$ 27 per person and can be used to buy food in any of the 500 contracted shops across Lebanon. The system allows refugees to choose the makeup of their meals, gives them access to fresh produce and boosts the local economy.
Food Assistance for Assets
Through food for assets programmes, both vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian communities are engaged in the building or rehabilitation of infrastructures that can help them reduce the impact of climate change and strengthen livelihoods, making participating individuals, their families and communities more resilient to shocks.
WFP joined forces with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to address the lack of education opportunities for Lebanese and Syrian primary school pupils and to prevent the loss of a generation. By distributing locally-sourced ready-to-eat snacks, WFP addresses short-term hunger and provides an incentive for children to enroll and remain in school. Additionally, cash grants for refugee pupils help to cover the indirect costs of education.
Partners and donorsAchieving Zero Hunger is the work of many. Our work in Lebanon is made possible by the support and collaboration of our partners and donors, including:
Operations in Lebanon