You are here

Habitat for Humanity Lebanon

Contact information

HFH Lebanon
P.O. Box 16-6168
Beirut
Lebanon
Fax: +961 1215162
Phone: 1215162

Habitat's work in Lebanon

Number of families served this year: 
278

Country Profile

The housing need in Lebanon
From 1975 until the early nineties, civil war in Lebanon destroyed not only lives, homes and infrastructure, but also its fragile society. An estimated one million people were displaced by fighting, and hundreds of thousands were injured, killed or disappeared. The damage to property alone cost US$25 billion. The scars of society ran much deeper. Post-war government reconstruction grants were insufficient and seen to be distributed unfairly, only deepening divisions.

This is Dania, age 7. Her father Zakariya Arroub Sayyed, a butcher, will be repairing the badly decayed roof of his family’s home through a microfinance partnership and with technical assistance from Habitat Lebanon. He and his wife Nevine Sayyed have three children.

Many more homes and lives were destroyed in the July–August 2006 war which also displaced one million people and damaged more than 100,000 houses. Reconstruction from these wars left Lebanon heavily in debt, and continued political unrest has prevented its economy from recovering fully. Unemployment is around 20 percent and many jobs pay very low wages, despite the high cost of living, which traps families in a cycle of poverty.

Rapid urbanization due to displacement and economic deprivation has resulted in ghettos of poverty in Beirut and other cities. Thousands of the displaced live illegally in old industrial centers, buildings about to collapse, ruins or inadequate houses. Living conditions are often deplorable, with no access to proper sanitation, clean water or electricity.

In several rural areas low-quality construction is ubiquitous, and water leakage, lack of heating, inadequate sanitation and overcrowding are common among Lebanon’s rural dwellers. The cost of construction has skyrocketed in recent years along with the cost of living, leaving low-income families with no option to improve their homes.

Habitat for Humanity in Lebanon
HFHL began by sheltering thousands of displaced Lebanese in 65 mixed communities in south Lebanon. It now works nationwide and in partnership with volunteers and homeowner families, HFHL builds more than houses—it builds lives, homes and unified communities. Using a participatory approach rooted in firm beliefs of empowerment and transformation, HFHL has played an important role in renewing the concept of development in a country that has focused primarily on economic growth since the civil war. Bishop Salim Ghazal, regional statesman and Chairman of HFHL, said, “With Habitat’s arrival, many communities are overjoyed with the opportunity to rebuild their simple village homes.”

Hasan Al Dor and a school friend can study for their exams now as his father Ali was one of those helped byHabitat to repair the war damage done to their house. Learn more about the Al Dor family by downloading the Lebanon PDF profile.

HFHL has proven effective in rebuilding both houses and communities across dividing lines, especially after the 2006 conflict. Priority is given to those in greatest need, without discrimination. Homeowners, neighbors and corporate volunteers join in the construction, reviving the Lebanese village tradition of “aouni,” or helping one another.

Country facts

Capital: Beirut

Population: 4,017,000

Rate of urbanization: 87 percent

Habitat facts

When the program started: 2001

Video : HFH Lebanon on YouTube

Housing Solutions: Housing Microfinance, Rehabilitation and Repairs