Banks are rapidly collapsing in Lebanon, leading to a cash-only economy.
Once an upper-middle-income country, Lebanon is entering its third year of severe economic, political and social crises. 1.5 million refugees are at particular risk. Their rights and freedoms, economic opportunities, and relations with host communities have deteriorated amid wide-felt poverty and hardship. Lebanon's largest displaced population is in Bekaa, which hosts 39% of total registered refugees. The lowest population is in South Lebanon, with 90,832 registered refugees. Since many do not get registered, the actual number is likely much higher.
Experiencing a massive decrease in international and national funding for refugees, the Lebanese government has yet to propose a long-term and viable plan to improve the situation for refugees and Lebanese citizens struggling to make ends meet. Government restrictions increasing the risk of deportation mean fewer people register as refugees, further isolating them from support systems. A 2019 government decision preventing settlements from becoming permanent shelters has led to the systematic destruction of homes.
One million Syrian refugees live in temporary shelters across 2,000 communities. Economic insecurity in Lebanon has resulted in 9 out of 10 Syrian refugees falling into extreme poverty. The lack of legal residency creates barriers to jobs and essential services such as education and healthcare, leaving refugees vulnerable to exploitation, eviction and deportation.
In late 2021, 54% of refugees in the region declared a loss in employment or income, and 95% of refugee households could not afford enough food. Thousands of displaced families and individuals are facing evictions as they cannot pay rent.