Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon:
Around 425,000 refugees are registered with UNRWA in Lebanon, with many living in the country’s 12 refugee camps.
Palestine refugees make up an estimated ten per cent of Lebanon, a small country which is now densely populated.
Palestine refugees in Lebanon do not enjoy several basic human rights, for example, they do not have the right to work in as many as 20 professions. Palestine refugees are not formally citizens of another state, so they are not able to claim the same rights as other foreigners living and working in Lebanon.
Around 53 per cent of the refugees in Lebanon are registered in the 12 camps. Three other camps were destroyed during Lebanon’s civil conflict (Nabatieh camp in south Lebanon, and Dikwaneh and Jisr el-Basha camps in the Beirut area). A fourth (Gouraud in Baalbek) was evacuated many years ago.
Palestinian Refugee Camps
Established by UNRWA in 1955, all shelters have indoor water supplies. The water system, sewerage and storm water drainage systems were recently rehabilitated. It is located on a hill in north Lebanon, 5km north of Tripoli.
The League of Red Cross Societies established the Burj Barajneh camp in 1948 to accommodate refugees who fled from the Galilee in northern Palestine. It is located in the southern suburbs of Beirut, near Beirut International Airport.
The camp was established to provide tented shelter for refugees from Hawla and Tiberias in northern Palestine in 1948. The camp also houses displaced Palestine refugees from other parts of Lebanon. UNRWA began providing services there in 1955. It is located 3km east of the city of Tyre in south Lebanon.
The Dbayeh camp was established in 1956 to accommodate Palestine refugees who originally came from the Galilee in northern Palestine. It is located 12km east of Beirut on a hill overlooking the Beirut-Tripoli highway.
Ein el-Hillweh was established near the city of Sidon in 1948 by the International Committee of the Red Cross to accommodate refugees from Amqa, Saffourieh, Shaab, Taitaba, Manshieh, al-Simireh, al-Nahr, al-Sofsaf, Hitten, Ras al-Ahmar, al-Tiereh and Tarshiha in northern Palestine. It is located near the city of Sidon.
The French government originally built the camp in 1939 for Armenian refugees. Palestinians from the Acre area in the Galilee came to el-Buss in the 1950s and the Armenians were moved to the Anja area. It is located 1.5km south of Tyre.
The smallest camp in Lebanon, Mar Elias was founded in 1952 by the Mar Elias Greek Orthodox convent to accommodate Palestine refugees from the Galilee in northern Palestine. It is located southwest of Beirut.
The Mieh Mieh camp, 4km east of Sidon, was established in 1954. Refugees in Mieh Mieh generally came from Saffourieh, Tiereh, Haifa and Miron in Palestine. It is located 4km east of Sidon.
The camp was originally established by the League of Red Cross Societies in 1949 to accommodate Palestine refugees from the Lake Huleh area of northern Palestine. UNRWA started providing services for the refugees in 1950. It is located 16km north of Tripoli near the coastal road.
Rashidieh camp is divided into “old” and “new” sections. The older part was built by the French government in 1936 to accommodate Armenian refugees who fled to Lebanon. The "new camp" was built by UNRWA in 1963 to accommodate Palestine refugees who were evacuated from Gouraud camp in the Baalbek area of Lebanon. Most of the inhabitants of Rashidieh camp originally come from Deir al-Qassi, Alma an-Naher and other villages in northern Palestine.
The Shatila camp in southern Beirut was established in 1949 by the International Committee of the Red Cross to accommodate the hundreds of refugees who poured into the area from Amka, Majed al-Kroum and al-Yajour area villages in northern Palestine after 1948. The Shatila camp is located in southern Beirut.
The Wavel camp was originally a French army barracks, and the original twelve buildings provided shelter to Palestine refugees in 1948. In 1952, UNRWA assumed responsibility for providing services in the camp. Wavel is located 90km east of Beirut in the Beqaa Valley, near the city of Baalbek.