International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in Lebanon

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

More than 1.2 million Syrians have poured into neighboring Lebanon since the start of the Syrian conflict. There are no formal camps in the country, so refugees live in apartments, unsafe shelters and tents. The International Rescue Committee works to protect the most vulnerable and helps ensure refugees have access to legal counseling, education, and other long-term services.

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How We Help

  • The IRC launched its response in Lebanon in 2012. We provide Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese families with cash assistance for essentials like rent and food, and skills training to improve their economic opportunities.
  • The IRC’s women’s centers provide a safe space for women and girls to gather, to share information, and to receive emotional support and crisis counseling.
  • We provide children with creative learning and therapeutic activities to help them recover from trauma and avoid working in city streets or farm fields.
  • We operate classrooms for thousands of Syrian children in northern Lebanon and the Bekka Valley, providing instruction in math, English and Arabic, among other subjects. The IRC also provides school supplies, including writing materials, backpacks and textbooks.
November 12, 2015 | Blog
A growing number of Syrian children sell flowers, shine shoes, or beg on the streets of the Lebanese capital to help their families pay for rent and food. Many of them report being harassed, beaten and sexually abused. “We have nobody to make us feel safe when we are begging,” says one 7 year old.