Lebanon hosts around 1.1 million Syrian refugees registered by the UNHCR, which is a high number for a country like Lebanon whose population does not exceed 4.4 million capita. Ultimately, the population has increased by around 25% in a country already suffering from weak services and infrastructure. However, estimates by the Lebanese government and a number of local NGOs say there are 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
This high percentage of refugees compared to the Lebanese population has drastically affected the social and economic situation, knowing that the refugee crisis is one of the many repercussions Lebanon is facing due to the Syrian conflict. The host community, as well as the refugees themselves, is suffering deterioration in living conditions where around 170,000 Lebanese citizens has fallen below poverty line by 2015, according to the International Labor Organization, while unemployment rate increased to 20%. At the same time, only around half the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are economically active, and one third of them work in low-skilled jobs in an unorganized economy.
Given this situation, and in addition to its work in providing relief to Syrian refugees, URDA seeks to increase the number of projects dedicated for the Lebanese in the vulnerable regions in the country, which, at the same time, host the largest number of refugees.