Syrian refugees in Lebanon

The complex health needs of the displaced Syrian population are often unmet and demand outstrips supply

"Scattered between hundreds of municipalities, Syrian refugees suffer from lack of financial resources and hindered access to humanitarian aid"- MdM Middle East

Syrian refugees make up more than a fifth of the population in Lebanon
52% of displaced people in Lebanon cannot afford chronic disease care, almost 1/3 suspended treatment due to lack of funds and 63% of non registered returnees and displaced Lebanese have received no care at all from any NGO

There are 1,109,020 registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon, with 28,523 awaiting registration (as of 30th July 2014), this makes up roughly 1/5 of the population of Lebanon (estimated at 5,882,562 as of 30th July 2014). This does not include refugees from other countries, or working migrants who may be supporting Syrian refugees.

The displaced Syrian people living in Lebanon have an increased need for different kinds of medical care due to both the conflict they have escaped and the conditions they currently live in*.

In 2013, a report from MSF states:

More than half of all interviewees (52%) cannot afford treatment for chronic disease care, and nearly one-third of them have had to suspend treatment already underway because it was too expensive to continue. For those who are and are not registered alike, the costs attached to essential primary health care, ante-natal care and institutional deliveries are prohibitive. Among non-registered returnees and internally displaced Lebanese, 63% received no assistance whatsoever from any NGO

Where the demand for medication goes up, when the free or low cost drugs provisions for public health care facility are exhausted, patients are forced to use private sector supplies which are expensive. "The cost of monthly mono therapy for hypertension (Atenolol 50 mg, 1 tablet per day) is almost 2 days salary for the lowest paid government worker for an innovator brand" according to a Survey report by the World Health Organization. With some salaried individuals priced out of the market, refugees, who do not have a salary, have little chance of caring for any chronic condition they may have.

Important too, is the impact on local communities, who also experience the shortage of medication, but cannot access medication intended for Syrian refugees, whose medicine is more frequently in stock.

*Numbers of refugees and population counts will change daily as the conflict and migration is ongoing. The figures used here are from the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR and the CIA and were accessed on the 31st July.