International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in Lebanon

Syrian refugee children in a makeshift school in Berkayel, Lebanon.
Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

The International Rescue Committee launched support for Syrian refugees in Lebanon in the fall of 2012.  More than one million Syrians have poured into the country since the start of the Syrian conflict in March 2011. Many fled with nothing more than the clothes they wore. There are no formal camps in Lebanon, and Syrian refugees live in apartments, formerly abandoned buildings, and tents.  The vast majority have little financial, material, or emotional support, and that is where the IRC has stepped in to help.  

The Latest

How We Help

  • The IRC has opened four women's centers that focus on the broad needs of Syrian refugee women and girls. Many experienced emotional and physical trauma in Syria, and face a new set of challenges as refugees. 
  • The IRC’s women’s centers provide a safe space for women and girls to gather, to share information on support available to them, and to receive emotional support and crisis counseling.
  • The IRC provides financial and material support for the most vulnerable refugees and Lebanese women and girls. 
  • The IRC is providing more than a thousand Syrian refugee and vulnerable Lebanese families with economic support through the use of ATM bankcards. Each month the cards are charged with a specific amount of money the refugees can withdraw for essentials such as rent, food, medical care, or utilities. 

  • We are ramping up education programming for thousands of Syrian children, many of who have missed as many as three years of school.
  • IRC teams assessed the needs of Syrian families in 65 makeshift refugee camps to support the efforts of our partner UNICEF to deliver winter clothing for children where it is needed most. 
August 25, 2015 | Blog
Zakia, 32, became the first woman elected as a representative in the Arbat refugee camp in northern Iraq to help address the concerns of Syrian refugees. The IRC organizes camp elections every six months.