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Syrian refugee crisis: How Lebanon bears the burden while NGOs receive aid

  • June 7, 2023
Lebanon’s licensed civil society organizations have grown significantly since the Syrian displacement crisis, with 4,001 establishments from 2011 to July 2022 out of 10,370 organizations licensed by the Interior Ministry.

These new organizations have launched several projects to address the needs of refugees in Lebanon, including food, education, healthcare and treatment, psychological care, and legal aid.

Moreover, according to previous statements by UNHCR officials, the international community has supported these organizations for 12 years with more than $13 billion.

However, these billions were distributed among many sectors, such as:

providing mental healthcare for children
providing stationery and books to students
educating Syrian refugees
providing legal consultations and support
providing pregnant refugees with healthcare
providing direct financial and moral support to refugees, and many other things

However, while $13 billion has not reached the Lebanese state and has gone directly to agencies, associations, and organizations, the Lebanese government has incurred billions of dollars in costs due to displacement.

Furthermore, a World Bank study showed that the direct cost of the Syrian displacement in the Lebanese state is around $1 billion annually, in addition to an indirect cost of up to $3.5 billion.

This means that Lebanon’s annual displacement cost is $4.5 billion. Thus Lebanon has paid $54 billion over 12 years, most of which has been due to the exhaustion of infrastructure and essential services. The state has lost over fifty billion dollars, as international aid has been injected into organizations alone, with no benefit to the state.

Even if these associations and organizations have implemented their projects and programs, they are insufficient to address the crisis’s implications for the country’s infrastructure.

But Lebanon is currently in a crisis and trying to mitigate the damage, while associations and organizations are demonizing any attempt to return

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