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Heart for Lebanon - Silent Crisis

Posted on July 1, 2012 at 10:30 AM

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Heart for Lebanon is an NGO in Lebanon providing humanitarian aid, facilitating proper education, strengthening community 
development, promoting leadership empowerment, and relief and capacity building for marginalized people groups, with a particular concern for children. Our mission is to see lives changed and communities transformed.


Learn more at


Since the start of the war in Iraq, many residents fled to the neighboring Arab countries, some of whom chose to find refuge in Lebanon. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the estimated number of Iraqis residing in Lebanon has now reached 50,000 persons. This number will most likely continue to increase due to the constant conflict in Iraq. Yet, only an estimated 6,000 of them --an average of 900 families-- are registered with the UNHCR; the others remain reluctant to the idea of registering with the Organization because they fear deportation by the Lebanese Government.


The refugees are from both Christian and Muslim backgrounds, and they are localized in various Lebanese regions according to their backgrounds. The largest constituency of Iraqis is divided into three groups: one group is staying in Dahieh (a poor neighborhood in Southern Beirut); another in Barbir (in West Beirut) and around the road leading to the airport; and a third group is living in poor neighborhoods in Sed El Bouchrieh and Fanar (in the Metn district).


Since these refugees are considered illegal by the Lebanese Government, they are denied job opportunities and are suffering from poor living conditions. As a result, the needs of these refugees are growing. They are reflected in the following three areas:


1. The first struggle is malnutrition since many of the refugees are in desperate need of basic food rations. This need is a real emergency as the number of members living in a single household varies from six (6) to fourteen (14) persons.


2. Another struggle is related to lodging since a majority, if not all of them, are unable to cover the rent fees. It is also important to mention that the housing costs in Beirut and its suburbs are constantly increasing.


3. The final need is linked to health and education. Apart from public hospitals and public schools, the fees remain unaffordable for the refugees. Additionally, war injuries, physical handicaps and mental health are very common issues in war-torn societies such as Iraq.

Categories: Environmental & Humanitartian Causes