Lebanon Humanitarian Fund helps people displaced by fighting

Colleagues from Action Against Hunger meet with Mahmoud, who has been displaced by the tensions at the southern border. Photo: Action Against Hunger

Lebanon | 2024 | CBPF

Lebanon, Tyre. Inas has been living in a school shelter with her husband and children since October. The family was displaced due to heavy bombardment near their home near the southern border. They haven’t had a chance to visit their house since then, and don’t know if it’s been destroyed.

Mahmoud, a father of five, was also displaced from the area. He and his five children are staying in a collective shelter in Tyre. He’s also lost his job. “Leaving your home unwillingly feels like losing your dignity,” he says.

Since 8 October, increased hostilities at the southern border between armed groups and Israel have driven internal displacement in Lebanon. By late January, over 86,600 people had fled from their homes, sheltering with friends and family or in collective shelters set up in schools.

Even before the latest hostilities, Lebanon faced a severe economic crisis that was affecting all residents.

More than half of the country’s population of 5.8 million now depend on humanitarian assistance for food and basic needs. More than 1.2 million people need support to access safe water and sanitation. 

The increasing tensions in the south and displacement have compounded the needs of many already vulnerable people. The Lebanon Humanitarian Fund is supporting Lebanese and international humanitarian organizations.

Mobile health care and psychosocial support.

Lebanese organization Amel, with funding from the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund, is helping to provide crucial healthcare , including mental health support through its medical mobile unit in Tyre.

This initiative is coordinated closely with the municipality and the disaster management unit, ensuring a comprehensive response to the healthcare needs of the people affected. Amel is also distributing household items.” With this holistic approach, we aim to make a meaningful impact for those who need it the most,” explains Sahar Chokor, Health Field Coordinator for South Lebanon.

Immediate basic assistance – food, clean water, and shelter

Like Inas, Moussa is staying with his children in a collective shelter. For a wheelchair user, it’s been quite uncomfortable. “Instead of having a proper bed, I am sleeping on tables, which is physically exhausting and uncomfortable. These hardships significantly impact my quality of life and make daily activities even more challenging,” Moussa explains.  Basic household goods – blankets, pillows, and the like, make things a bit easier. But it’s no replacement for home.

Another LHF partner, Action Against Hunger, is helping people with food and household supplies, including in Montana, the hotel in Zahrani that has become a shelter for displaced people like Moussa and his family.

LHF funding helps ACF to provide hot breakfast, mattresses, pillows blankets, and essential household supplies for the families sheltering there.

Despite the uncertainty and worry, Mahmoud, who is here with his children after staying with relatives in Beirut for a few weeks, says, “Knowing the people that are here makes the displacement a bit easier.”

In addition, ACF has supported safe spaces for women and awareness sessions to combat gender-based violence, a risk that often increases in times of conflict and uncertainty. “Women must know how to defend themselves,” explains Randa Kaddoura, a program officer with ACF.

The funding also supports a specialized team to advise pregnant and breastfeeding women in the shelters.

Education kits, livelihood support, and winter supplies

The fighting at the border has been going on for three months and displaced people’s needs are evolving. Critical initial needs – for household supplies and food – are no longer as urgent, and longer-term problems come into view.

People are saying they need sustainable assistance, including to address the loss of income due to leaving their jobs, as well as for the children who have stopped attending school.

Amale is 12 years old. “I miss the joy of studying, especially my favorite subject which is English literature,” she says.

With funds from LHF, World Vision has supported displaced families with educational kits so that children can continue learning even though they are not home yet.   

The future remains uncertain

For those displaced, the uncertainty remains. “Our future is mysterious,” says Mahmoud, “we don’t know where we are headed.”

“We feel adrift, lacking a clear vision for the future, and my children are similarly affected, despite their tender age and limited understanding of the circumstances,” explains Inas.

“My greatest fear is the further escalation of war and witnessing harm befall my children,” says Moussa. “My hope is for a peaceful resolution that allows us to return to our homes with dignity, putting an end to the ongoing conflict.”

Based on original stories and interviews from Amel, Action Against Hunger, and World Vision.

For more information, see the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund website, and find real-time contribution and allocation data on the POOLED FUNDS DATA HUB.