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Danish engagements in Lebanon

The Lebanese government estimates that there are 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, of which 865,532 are registered by the UNHCR. In addition to the Syrian refugees, there are about 480,000 Palestinian refugees and approximately 16,000 refugees of other origins in the country. The number of refugees is approximately a quarter of the total population of 6.8 million inhabitants, making Lebanon the country in the world that hosts the highest number of refugees per capita. Lebanon, unlike Jordan, has no official refugee camps for Syrian refugees. A large proportion have settled in informal settlements in the Bekaa Valley, which borders Syria, and others have settled across the rest of the country, including in major cities such as Beirut and Tripoli.

In recent years, Lebanon has experienced a severe and persistent economic depression, which has caused increased poverty, increased humanitarian needs and an increase in the total number of vulnerable, both among Syrians and Lebanese. The country's situation is i.e. caused by an accelerating crisis in Lebanon's banking sector, but was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the explosion at the port of Beirut in August 2020. The World Bank now considers Lebanon's crisis to be in the top 10 and possibly top 3 of the world's worst economic and financial crises since the mid-19th century.

It is estimated that up to 90% of Syrian refugees in the country now live in extreme poverty, and that 3/4 of Lebanese now live below the poverty line. Many poor Lebanese and Syrians find themselves forced to pull their children out of school, resort to child labor or marry young girls away to overcome the economic difficulties. In addition, both the health sector, the water sector and the education system have been hit hard. Many well-educated people have chosen to leave the country.

Denmark supports a wide range of initiatives in Lebanon, which aim to strengthen resilience, self-sufficiency, and access to health and rights, as well as to promote gender equality.

In the above sections you can read about the NGOs, UN organizations and other initiatives which Denmark supports in Lebanon.