Shaimaa Shams Eddine, patient
The health system in Lebanon – a country which hosts over 850,000 registered Syrian refugees – has continued to crumble in recent years due to social and political unrest, economic collapse, and the Beirut blast.

Despite the efforts of the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health in supporting basic and specialist healthcare for refugees, the cost of consultations, laboratory tests, and medication remains a barrier for a significant number of refugees.

MSF ensures access to free, high-quality healthcare for vulnerable people, including refugees and migrant workers. Our activities include reproductive health services, general and intensive care, treatment for non-communicable diseases, and routine vaccinations for children, in Akkar, Zahle, South Beirut and in the Bekaa valley. We also provide treatment for children with thalassemia in Zahle.

Our teams are currently running COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, including in nursing homes and in prisons. We are also conducing health education sessions which include informative messages about COVID-19 vaccination and the ways to register to get vaccinated.

Our activities in 2021 in Lebanon

Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.

MSF in Lebanon in 2021 In 2021, the humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate rapidly in Lebanon, as the economic and financial crisis showed no sign of abating, and the health system struggled to provide basic services.
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Eighty-five per cent of people are now reportedly living below the poverty line, with insufficient access to food, fuel and medication. The breakdown of the healthcare system and severe shortages of essential drugs have pushed more people to seek assistance from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and other medical humanitarian organisations to cover their medical needs.*

Our teams provide basic health services, including sexual and reproductive healthcare, consultations for chronic diseases, mental health support, thalassemia care and surgery in various areas of the country. We also assist births, offer paediatric care and routine vaccinations for children. At the end of the year, a reassessment of our activities led to the closure of the paediatric intensive care unit in Zahle.  

In 2021, we opened a new clinic to respond to the medical needs of migrant workers who have been impacted by the economic crisis. There are approximately 250,000 migrant workers in Lebanon, in addition to over 1.5 million refugees, mainly Palestinians and Syrians, many of whom live in precarious conditions in overcrowded camps. MSF activities in the eastern and northern areas of the country have been developed to cover the needs of these people, who often face limited access to medical care. 

COVID-19 dealt yet another blow to the overstretched healthcare system. Some healthcare workers left the country, while many health facilities in Beirut that were damaged in the port explosion in 2020 remained unrepaired.  

MSF supported the COVID-19 response by temporarily transforming our hospital in Bar Elias into a COVID-19 treatment centre during the first months of 2021. Our teams also assisted with vaccinations for people most at risk, such as the elderly, medical staff and detainees, and sent mobile teams to vaccinate communities in the remote area of Akkar, in the north of Lebanon. 

* World Food Programme, Lebanon m-VAM Vulnerability and Food Security Assessment, https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000129566/download/
 

in 2021
 
woman in silhouette
Lebanon

COVID-19 and economic downfall reveal migrant workers’ mental health crisis in Lebanon

Report 3 Jul 2020
 
MSF COVID-19 Response in Lebanon
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Offering extra protection against COVID-19 to Lebanon’s most vulnerable

Project Update 26 May 2020
 
COVID-19 training in Lebanon
Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

MSF responds to COVID-19 in Lebanon

Project Update 9 Apr 2020
 
Houssam
Lebanon

Empowering children living with type 1 diabetes

Project Update 13 Nov 2019
 
Treatment of mental disorders in non-specialized health settings
Mental health

Treating mental health outside of specialised settings

Project Update 17 Oct 2019
 
Providing mental health in Wadi Khaled
Mental health

Tackling stigma one patient at a time in Lebanon

Project Update 22 Jul 2019
 
Kids’Zone at MSF Thalassemia programme
Lebanon

Treating Syrian children suffering from thalassemia

Project Update 5 Jul 2019
 
Sexual reproductive health services in Bourj Al Barajneh Camp, South Beirut
Lebanon

Empowered midwives, satisfied mothers – midwife-led care in Lebanon

Voices from the Field 3 May 2019
 
Shatila Camp Illustrations
Lebanon

“To see one smile on a broken face is enough to know that this work is worthwhile”

Project Update 15 Jan 2019

Contact us

Shatila Camp
MSF Lebanon

Hamra main street, Domtex building, 5th floor
Beirut, Lebanon
Area zip code: 1103