In the Bekaa Valley there are approximately 1,400 active informal tented settlements, the vast majority inhabited by Syrian refugees. In addition to 71% of the Syrian population living below the 3 dollar a day poverty line, Palestinian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese contribute to a very high number of households and communities around the region that are considered to be vulnerable. Lebanon’s infrastructure, its public services and security are all under the strain of hosting an estimated total of 1.5 million refugees with a Lebanese population of just around 4 million.
Our community-based projects aim to empowering the local refugee and host communities who are experiencing the severe strain from the refugee influx. While the vast majority of humanitarian assistance in the region focuses on people’s basic needs, we believe that it is important for people to engage in activities that are not just about survival – activities where people can express themselves, share experiences, relax in a safe environment or simply have fun. While not always having direct developmental impacts, these projects can help people to feel human, start fresh dialogue and make connections across boundaries, strengthening civil society, improving social stability and providing more fertile ground for social cohesion.