Habitat for Humanity in Lebanon
Habitat for Humanity has been working in Lebanon since 2001 and has helped more than 2,000 families to build or renovate their homes.
Much of the suffering within Lebanon is due to the civil war, which continued from 1975 until the beginning of the 1990s, and destroyed the lives and homes of many.
The fragile society of Lebanon continues to suffer today. While hundreds of thousands of people were killed or simply disappeared, many other families, an estimated one million people, were displaced by the civil unrest.
Not only has there been a vast emotional cost to this traumatic period, but cost of property damage was also high, at US$25 billion; reconstruction grants from the government could not cover everyone’s need. The apparent unfairness in the distribution of these grants also led to further hostility.
The 2006 war caused yet further damage, displacing a million people and causing damage to over 100,000 houses. As such, the economy has been unable to recover, due to the debt caused by this and the political unrest.
Despite the high cost of living in Lebanon, wages earned are often very low, and 20% of the population are unemployed. The cost of construction is also high and these factors combined mean families are unable to lift themselves out of the poverty cycle.
Ghettos have developed in large cities as rapid urbanisation, due to displacement and lack of wealth, has caused more poverty housing to be sought in urban areas.
Buildings on the verge of collapse and old industrial centres illegally house many who live in appalling conditions without the basic provision of proper sanitary facilities, electricity or clean water.
Our work in Lebanon
Working in 65 mixed communities in South Lebanon, Habitat for Humanity first helped thousands of displaced people create new homes for themselves.
Habitat for Humanity now works across the country, building homes and uniting communities with the help of volunteers and homepartners.
Since the civil war, Lebanon has focused primarily on building economic growth, but Habitat for Humanity have helped demonstrate the importance of development.
Regional statesman and Chairman of Habitat for Humanity Lebanon, Bishop Salim Ghazal, explained that “With Habitat’s arrival, many communities are overjoyed with the opportunity to rebuild their simple village homes.”
After the war in 2006, Habitat for Humanity were successful in not only building homes, but also rebuilding the bonds between communities, despite previous divisions.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Habitat for Humanity to work in Lebanon to quickly provide shelter. Committees from across the region that were representative of the areas’ diversity were called upon to select families for the project and take on leadership roles. This project allowed homepartners to take control of their circumstances and help themselves. The project also helped the Lebanese construction industry, and created 2,250 new jobs in this field.
The aim of Habitat for Humanity is to create real homes and real communities. The projects here in Lebanon have allowed for corporate volunteers, homepartners and communities to work together; the Lebanese village tradition of ‘aouni’, helping each other, has been revived.
Habitat for Humanity's work in countries like Lebanon rely on your support.
You can also volunteer to work alongside a family building their new home.
|Unemployment rate (% of labour force without job)*
|Population below poverty line*
|Human Development Index**
*Stats from World Factbook as of February 2013
** Stats from UNDP.org 2011 rankings