Lebanon is home to the highest concentration of refugees per capita in the world - a figure which includes some 1.5 million people exiled from Syria. For a country dealing with its own crisis, the cracks have quickly begun to show. Today, 1.5 million Lebanese citizens live below the poverty line - in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Against a backdrop of civil unrest, the collapse of the economy and already fractured public services, has seen much of the blame fall at the feet of the burgeoning refugee population. A breakdown of the social fabric is manifest.
Low-income Lebanese families carry deep-seated resentment towards Syrian and Palestinian refugees for ‘stealing’ jobs and resources. On the flip side, life for refugees and migrant workers - who mostly inhabit one of twelve refugee camps - is marked by fear, hostility and exclusion. Confined to hard labour in limited sectors, there are few options. In a clear culmination of lost patience, new arrivals have been denied registration. Now, 'invisible’ in the system, these groups have become extremely vulnerable to abuse and are in urgent need of protection.