Years of civil war, invasion, occupation and political instability have undermined Lebanon's economic development. There are pockets of extreme poverty, and moreover, those people in poverty in Lebanon are often locked there by laws or structural inequalities that constitute gross injustice.
Palestinian refugees – Unable to return to the Palestine they fled more than 60 years ago, in Lebanon they are barred from the right to work in all but the most menial of jobs, cannot access state healthcare, own land or property, and have almost no access to state education.
Disability – War and conflict have left Lebanon with a disproportionately high number of people living with a disability, yet discrimination and ignorance mean that disabled people are often marginalised from education, employment and participation in public life.
Sectarianism and conflict – Lebanon came out of 15 years of civil war in 1990, yet distrust and deep sectarianism persist. Many fear the war could re-erupt.
We work with local Lebanese and Palestinian refugee organisations that provide day-to-day support to the poorest.
But we are also helping the same organisations to campaign on issues of rights and justice, in order to change the laws and structures that are keeping people poor.
We have had notable successes in these areas – such as the passing of Law 220 that enshrined in law the rights of disabled people for the first time.
• Association Najdeh provides services such as kindergartens and vocational training to Palestinian refugees, to help them combat the poverty the Lebanese context forces them into. Najdeh are also fighting a national campaign for Palestinians’ right to work in Lebanon.
• The Lebanese Physically Handicapped Union (LPHU) supports people with disabilities through counselling, training, local activities, and getting them into employment where possible. It also lobbies for changes to Lebanese law so that the rights of disabled people are legally recognised and protected.
• Mouvement Social works with children and young people, both in and out of mainstream education, with a particular focus on participation and citizenship. It aims to improve the quality of education, and to build values of inclusion and democracy to challenge sectarianism and conflict.
• Palestinians’ right to work in Lebanon – our partner Association Najdeh won changes to Lebanese law in 2010, but the struggle continues.
• Palestinian refugees: Life in Lebanon – a Flickr gallery giving a glimpse of life for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, many of whom live in camps dating back to the 1950s.
• New convention to protect abused workers – we've been working to increase support for a new International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention to protect domestic workers, with organisations in the Middle East, Asia and the UK.
• Economic crisis in the Middle East - Arab governments should implement pro-poor policies to minimise the number of people falling into poverty as a result of the global economic crisis.
What you can do
• Help us continue our support of partners in Lebanon by donating.
• Take action to help eradicate poverty and injustice across the world.