With 1.2 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon is host to the highest percentage of Syrian refugees per capita—one in five—of any country in the world. Women and children make up 79% of the registered refugee population, with children constituting 53.2% of this figure. Violence, overcrowded shelters and insufficient incomes are the most pressing issues among this community.
HAI has been working in Lebanon since 2008 in the following ways:
Combatting gender-based violence and expanding access to services. HAI has created and continually staffs safe spaces that serve over 2,700 women and girl refugee survivors of violence and those at risk of experiencing violence. These walk-in safe spaces include mental health and legal services, vocational training and child care services. These locations also share information about the rights given and services available to refugees.
Healing trauma and restoring well-being. HAI collaborates with existing social and health clinics to provide sliding scale and free services for Syrian refugees. The organization has trained clinic staff to provide mental health services for refugee survivors of violence.
- Paving a path to sustainability. HAI brings together high-level national and local government, along with non-governmental organizations to help them better understand and respond to violence against Syrian refugee women and Lebanese host community member In addition, HAI partnered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to expand gender-based violence response and prevention in eight community centers inside eight Palestinian camps in Lebanon.
- Protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) refugees. LGBT individuals have the right to be safe, healthy, engaged and empowered. HAI works with local partners to meet the most pressing needs of LGBT communities and increasing acceptance and support from within the larger refugee and host communities. HAI conducted the first assessment of its kind on the specific vulnerabilities facing LGBT refugees in Lebanon. This landmark report informs HAI’s and other organizations’ programming in working with this particularly vulnerable group of refugees.
Ensuring education for all. HAI provides training for Syrian refugee adolescent girls and children who are unable to participate in formal education because of language barriers.