Syrian refugees in Lebanon became poorer, more vulnerable in 2017, UNHCR

A Syrian refugee mother and son outside their shelter in Ghazieh, Saida, Lebanon.  © UNHCR/Sebastian Rich
A Syrian refugee mother and son outside their shelter in Ghazieh, Saida, Lebanon. © UNHCR/Sebastian Rich

Syrian refugees in Lebanon are more vulnerable than ever, with more than half now living in extreme poverty and over three quarters living below the poverty line – according to the findings of a new survey by UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP. Seven years into the crisis, Syrian refugees in Lebanon are finding it even more difficult to make ends meet and are more reliant than ever on international aid – amid an uncertain outlook for humanitarian funding in 2018.

The annual Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees (VASyR) reveals that 58 per cent of households are now living in extreme poverty – on less than US$2.87 per person per day. This is some 5 per cent more than a year ago. And the number of households living below the overall poverty line – less than US$3.84 per day – has also continued to rise. 76 per cent of refugee households are living below this level.

This means over three quarters of Syrian refugees in Lebanon now live on less than US$4 per day, leaving refugees with dwindling resources to meet their most basic needs. Refugee households are now spending on average just US$98 per person per month – US$44 of which is spent on food.

Borrowing money for food, to cover health expenses and pay rent continues to be extremely common, with almost nine out of every 10 refugees saying they are in debt. This underlines the vulnerabilities facing most Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Food insecurity also remains critically high – affecting 91 per cent of households to some degree. But vulnerabilities are also growing elsewhere. Obtaining legal residency continues to be a challenge, leaving refugees exposed to an increased risk of arrest, hindering their ability to register their marriages and making it more difficult for them to find daily labour, send their children to school or access health care.

Only 19 per cent of families reported that all members had legal residency, down from 21 per cent in 2016. More alarmingly, the share of households where no one has legal residency has increased considerably. Overall, 74 per cent of surveyed Syrian refugees aged 15 and above do not have legal residency in Lebanon.

The survey also revealed that only 17 per cent of refugee parents managed to complete all the steps of the birth registration process for their children – but higher percentages of families are at least completing the first two steps of the process – with nearly all families (96%) obtaining a notification of birth from the hospital or midwife, thanks to joint efforts by UNHCR and the Government.

Taken as a whole, the survey results paint an alarming picture of the growing vulnerabilities facing Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Seven years into the crisis, they are more reliant than ever on humanitarian aid – with more than two-thirds saying they had relied on some form of assistance in the previous three months. Self-reliance opportunities are extremely limited in an economy deeply affected by the neighbouring conflict in Syria. And external funding is insufficient to keep up with the growing needs; In 2017, only 36 per cent of the total funding needed to provide adequate humanitarian support in Lebanon was received, as of the beginning of December.

A further US$2.7 billion is needed to meet needs in 2018, under the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan. With upcoming conferences in Paris and Brussels aimed at mobilizing further support for the humanitarian response and for Lebanon in particular – it is more vital than ever that donors stay the course amid deepening poverty and growing vulnerabilities – which equally strain abilities to support vulnerable members of the local community who are also struggling with limited resources and help prevent social tensions between Lebanese hosts and refugees.

 

Background:

The VASyR survey is the fifth of its kind and involved researchers visiting some 5,000 refugee families randomly selected from 26 districts across Lebanon. It is key in shaping humanitarian aid programmes in Lebanon and revealing social and economic trends.

UNHCR

  • Hannibal

    It is time to send them back home. Hopefully, they will vote the hyena out of office.

    • Hind Abyad

      Hi, wainak?

      • Hannibal

        Extremely busy. My 18 years old going through college applications and I am helping him. 😉

        • Y K

          Don’t forget to keep us posted about more fascinating stuff happening to you and your family! How was your stool today, by the way? 🙂

          • Hannibal

            You should know… It landed in your mouth…. lol
            I wasn’t talking to you btw.

          • Y K

            “I wasn’t talking to you”

            Sure, pal. Crazy people usually talk to themselves. 🙂

          • Hind Abyad

            Hahah..he watches the column like a bold vulture and appears in a second, reminds me of ‘O’ attacking at anything that passes https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/09863a45c4e51daa4a55f96f91e49ea30bf627d2b842b0621650687c356fd5f8.jpg like a stray mad dog at a bone.

          • Rudy1947

            Is that your wanna be pose?

          • Hannibal

            Rudy, It is shameful that you do not recognize your own mother posing in the picture. Has it been so long that you forgot how she looked? 😛

          • Y K

            A classy comeback. I bet this kind of humor works great during ’em boring “startup” board meetings. 🙂

          • Rudy1947

            Her current appearance is dust and bones, six feet under. If you wish to confirm, get a shovel, pry bar and several cans of air freshener.

        • Hind Abyad

          That’s a good father 😉

          • Hannibal

            Thanks Hind. There is one troll left to get rid of 😉 and he knows who he is… lol

          • vs

            look at the mirror, you, heblahblah and omega (where is he?) best israel hating trolls here

          • Y K

            Where is he, indeed? I got to admit he added a certain flavor to the place. 🙂

          • Niemals

            You must be joking.

          • Y K

            If he were a good father, he would have used a condom. Just as your own dad should have. 🙂

          • Hannibal

            The best medicine for the YK troll is to ignore his stupid comments. 🙂 Watch him getting irked like a kid asking for a lollipop lol. He cannot NOT reply. He is such a dork.

          • vs

            so just enjoy hag’s comments

          • Y K

            The moron just can’t shut up about the need to ignore Israel, YK and what else. While “irking” them at the same time. 🙂

          • Hind Abyad

            He can’t keep away from YaLibnan he needs his heroes.;-p
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDrypeKJrAY

          • Hannibal

            So true… What kills them the most is exposing their lies and “supremacy”. In 2006 they were bitch slapped. If they dare another, you and I will celebrate over meza and arak in Galilee. 😉

  • vs

    comment cenzored

    • Niemals

      What comment was censored?

      • vs

        bot not like calling Syrian or FaLIEstinian refugees as *rabian. Are they occupants invaders only lol?

  • Niemals

    The Syrian refugees in Lebanon are not getting economic support to make there life easier.

    The African migrants in Israel face mass deportation – or imprisonment.

    The plan has already been heavily criticized by human rights groups, but Netanyahu wants to go one step further, according to a report in Haaretz.

    Comparing with the millions of Syrians in Lebanon, it is estimated that 37,000 Eritreans and Sudanese live in Israel.
    They immigrated between 2006 and 2012 before the country built a high-tech security barrier to close the refugee route across the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.

    To date, the vast majority of African migrants have not been granted refugee status.

    According to the UNHCR, only eight Eritreans and two Sudanese nationals have been recognized as refugees in Israel. All others have been given a temporary residence permit, which must be renewed every three months.
    Those who have not applied for asylum will now be encouraged to accept a free air ticket and €2 909 for their departure at the next renewal of their residence permit.
    If they refuse, they face the threat of going to jail. Those imprisoned in the Holot detention facility in southern Israel are also being put under pressure to leave the country.

    The fact is that the recognition of asylum in Israel is currently at less than one percent!
    Israel is far from the European average of recognition rate for Eritreans is around 90 percent.

    The recent escalation in violence between Israelis and Palestinian arabs has conjured up an old demon from Israel’s past: racism and discrimination against Jews, by Jews.

    It is scary when every dark skin in Israel is now a target.

    However I don’t understand what the African refugees expected from life in a countrie that regardes itself as a land for Jews only?