Skip to main content

You are here


The latest in Lebanon

On October 6th, 2022, the Minister of Public Health (MoPh) in Lebanon officially declared a cholera outbreak in the country with the number of confirmed and suspected rising to 3,671 as of 16th of November 2022. The rapid spread of Cholera cases is happening as the people in Lebanon are already suffering from an economic meltdown that has further exacerbated limited access to drinking water, sanitation services as well as hospital care. 
Since the beginning of the outbreak, MSF has mobilized teams to raise awareness on the symptoms, treatment and prevention of cholera in the concerned areas and has been providing training to healthcare workers on the proper management and treatment of cholera cases, mainly in public hospitals in the South of Beirut, Bekaa Valley, and in the north, and south of Lebanon.  
On Saturday 5th of November, Médecins Sans Frontières /Doctors Without Borders (MSF) started vaccinating people in the north and northeast of Lebanon, targeting more than 150,000 people living in poor and/ or overcrowded areas in the country where infectious diseases such as cholera can rapidly spread putting people living there at heightened risk of getting ill.  


The health system in Lebanon – a country which hosts over 850,000 registered Syrian refugees – has continued to crumble in recent years due to social and political unrest, economic collapse, and the Beirut blast.

Healthcare for refugees living in Lebanon

Home to approximately 6 million people, more than a quarter of Lebanon’s population is now made up of refugees. This influx of people has put immense strain on the country’s economy and infrastructure and this is particularly felt in the health sector. Lebanon's national services, such as education, housing, water and electricity are suffering from a lack of investment and the pressure of providing for a growing population with such specific needs.

Despite the efforts of the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health in supporting primary and secondary healthcare for refugees, the cost of consultations, laboratory tests, and medication remains a barrier for a significant number of refugees.

More than 1.5 million Syrians have fled into Lebanon since the conflict began in 2011, making Lebanon and Jordan the countries hosting the largest proportion of refugees in the world.

Our activities in Lebanon

MSF ensures access to free, high-quality healthcare for vulnerable people, including refugees and migrant workers. Our activities include reproductive health services, general and intensive care, treatment for non-communicable diseases, and routine vaccinations for children, in Akkar, Zahle, South Beirut and in the Bekaa valley. We also provide treatment for children with thalassemia in Zahle.

In 2021, we opened a new clinic to respond to the medical needs of migrant workers who have been impacted by the economic crisis. There are approximately 250,000 migrant workers in Lebanon, in addition to over 1.5 million refugees, mainly Palestinians and Syrians, many of whom live in precarious conditions in overcrowded camps. MSF activities in the eastern and northern areas of the country have been developed to cover the needs of these people, often facing limited access to medical care.

COVID-19 dealt yet another blow to the overstretched health care system. Some health care workers left the country, while many health facilities in Beirut that were damaged in the port explosion in 2020 remained unrepaired.

Lebanon - Syrian refugees, Misery beyond the war zone

MSF supported the COVID-19 response by temporarily transforming our hospital in Bar Elias into a COVID-19 treatment center during the first months of 2021. Our teams also assisted with vaccinations for people most at risk, such as the elderly, medical staff, and detainees, and deployed mobile teams to vaccinate communities in the remote area of Akkar, in the north of Lebanon.


Find out more about Lebanon