Lebanon

Lebanon, located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, shares its borders with Syria and Israel. The western mountain range contains the last remaining groves of the Cedars of Lebanon, used by the ancient Phoenicians to build ships, houses, and temples.

  • Population: 4,228,000
  • Life Expectancy: 72 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 100%
  • School Enrollment: 90%
  • Land Mass: 4,015 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 90%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 22/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 9,020

Facts about Lebanon

Economic Development

Earlier years of civil war and recent tensions have taken a toll on Lebanon's economy. More than nine percent of the workforce is unemployed and almost 30 percent of people live below the poverty line.

Education

Once known as the “classroom of the Middle East", Lebanon has struggled to provide children with quality education because of under-qualified teachers, especially in rural or war-torn neighborhoods.

Health

Healthcare costs for families in poor communities and Palestinian refugee camps can rise to over half of their annual income.

Lebanon flag

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Progress in Lebanon

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2012.

  • Distributed goats and hens to families, providing food and a source of income.

  • Installed irrigation pipelines to bring water to farms.

  • Organized information sessions to teach parents and teachers effective ways to communicate with children.

  • Renovated and furnished a recreational center where schoolchildren can gather during summer vacation.

  • Supplied books and furniture to help schools create safe, inviting classrooms.

  • Assisted schools with educational activities such as field trips, plays, and sporting events.

  • Provided training for emergency relief teams, preparing them to respond to disasters such as earthquakes.

  • Held information sessions to teach parents about child rights and the importance of good communication with their children.

  • Facilitated summer camps in which children learned about their rights and gained skills in tolerance, negotiation, and conflict management.

  • Children participated in games and received gifts.

  • Trained healthcare providers in the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Organized mothers' support groups and equipped them to educate their peers about maternal and child health.

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    World Vision in Lebanon Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Lebanon to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 10,000 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Lebanon. Highlights include:

    • Enabling children to enjoy quality education as a result of parent-teacher associations, donated equipment and teacher training on alternative methods of discipline.
    • Organizing Mother Action Groups that encourage mothers to spread the word about the importance of healthy behaviors.
    • Empowering children to affect change in their communities by promoting child-led campaigns on healthy lifestyle choices.

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    World Vision History in Lebanon

    World Vision’s involvement in Lebanon began in 1975 with childcare work through schools and healthcare institutions. Since then, some major accomplishments include:

    • Supplying food, medication, and clothing to families displaced by civil war in the late 1970s and into the 1990s.
    • Helping children gain access to quality education since the 1980s.
    • Providing communities with nutrition, education, healthcare, and agriculture programs since the 1990s.
    • Distributing food, water, and hygiene supplies to people affected by internal fighting since the beginning of the 21st century.

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    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Lebanon, located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, shares its borders with Syria and Israel. The western mountain range contains the last remaining groves of the Cedars of Lebanon, used by the ancient Phoenicians to build ships, houses, and temples.

    With its Mediterranean climate, Lebanon is the only country in the Middle East that does not have a desert. Natural resources include limestone, iron ore, salt, drinkable water, and arable land.

    More than 95 percent of Lebanese people are Arabic. The remaining population consists of Armenians, Kurds, Jews, and Persians. Many Christian Lebanese identify themselves as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians.

    Arabic is the country’s official language, though French, English, and Armenian are also widely spoken and taught in schools.

    Many Lebanese people work in industries such as wood and furniture production, mineral and chemical processing, and cement factories. Tourism is also a primary source of national income.

    History

    After 23 years under France’s rule, Lebanon gained independence in 1943. The country’s history since independence has been marked by civil war and political turmoil. The one exception was in the 1960s when Lebanon enjoyed a period of peace, focusing on banking and tourism.

    The calm was shattered in April 1975 when Lebanese gunmen ambushed a bus. That event sparked a 16-year civil war filled with car bombs, rocket-propelled attacks, and assassinations. By the end of hostilities in May 1991, hundreds of thousands of people had been killed or affected by the war. Post-war recovery hit a setback in 2006 when a 34-day war started between a Lebanese Islamic group, Hezbollah, and Israel.

    In the past few years, debate and tensions have marked elections.

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    Prayer Requests for Lebanon

    • A calm and peaceful year in Lebanon, with a stable government and economy.
    • All children who are in need of love, care, and protection.