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: 4,647,100
  • Life Expectancy: 80 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 100%
  • School Enrollment: 97%
  • Land Mass: 4,015 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 90%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 9/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 9,190

Facts about Lebanon

Economic Development

Before 1975, Lebanon played a major role in the Middle East economic, social, and cultural arena. However, with the outburst of the civil war, which lasted for 15 years (1975-1990), Lebanon’s status declined drastically. Almost 30 percent of people live below the poverty line.

Economic Development

Lebanon is one of the few countries in this region that is not resource-rich but is dependent on service industries such as tourism, bank and financial services, and as a trans-shipment point for trade. All of these are easily disrupted by political tensions, uncertainty, violence, and conflict.

Child Protection

Due to the conflict in Syria, many Syrians have been fleeing to Lebanon for refuge. There are now more than 800,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This crisis has also increased child-related vulnerabilities.

Child Protection

Many children in Lebanon suffer from lack of hope for a safe and secure future, having lived through several wars and being constantly exposed to the instability of the country.

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.

  • Formed mothers’ groups and trained them to pass on information about child and maternal health to others in their community.

  • Partnered with community groups to hold awareness sessions on reproductive health education for adolescents.

  • Trained members of youth groups as peer leaders, educating them on life-skills and equipping them to share their knowledge on health, nutrition, and moral values, with other children and teens in their neighborhoods.

  • Trained teachers and parents on the importance of school safety and child health and development to improve the protection and care of students.

  • Provided recreational events at local schools to help children express themselves, be confident, and learn about their rights.

  • Organized a program called “Child-Friendly Streets,” giving children and teens information on environmental issues through plays, educational games, and music, and helping local youth have a fun way to be involved in making their community a safer place to live.

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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 8,200 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Lebanon. Highlights include:

    • Distributing hygiene/baby kits to refugee families from Syria.
    • Increasing healthcare access and nutrition information for mothers.
    • Implementing water projects for Syrian refugees.

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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

    • For refugees living in Lebanon, especially children, that God will heal their emotional and physical wounds and give them bright hope for the future.
    • For World Vision’s advocacy work in Lebanon, that it will be successful in strengthening child protection systems.
    • For a calm and peaceful year in Lebanon, with increasing stability in the government and economy.
    • For all children who are in need of love, care, and protection.