Humanity & Inclusion in Lebanon
Humanity & Inclusion has been working in Lebanon since 1992, supporting local associations with rehabilitation and psychosocial support projects.
In 2011, Humanity & Inclusion began clearing landmines and other explosives remnants of war. Since 2012, our teams have been supplying relief to Syrian refugees in Lebanon with a special emphasis on helping those with disabilities and serious injuries.
Humanity & Inclusion aims to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities and vulnerable populations in communities, both physically and psychologically in terms of professional, cultural, and social inclusion.
Our Current Work
Humanity & Inclusion has a team of 90 national staff, 3 international staff, and 4 teams of demining staff. The Lebanon team works to:
- Clear weapons and teach communities how to stay safe
- Provide rehabilitation care
- Conduct disability outreaches
- Ensure service accessibility for all vulnerable populations
- Improve mental health of children
- Enhance the inclusion of people with disabilities in education
Mine Clearance and Risk Education
Humanity & Inclusion’s demining teams work to clear landmines and other explosive remnants of war in the north part of the country to protect the local population from the numerous weapons leftover from the 15-year civil war that ended in 1990.
In August 2015, Humanity & Inclusion celebrated the release of 46,505 sq. m. of land from five minefields in Deir Billa, Lebanon. The land had been contaminated with landmines and other explosive remnants of war during Lebanon’s civil war, which ended more than two decades ago. Click here to learn more about this important milestone.
In addition, our risk education teams help ensure that communities stay safe from explosive remnants of war by teaching them how to spot, avoid, and report the weapons they may find.
Fixed and mobile disability teams provide physical therapy for injured refugees and those with disabilities. Humanity & Inclusion also helps hospitals and clinics care for injured refugees by supplying rehabilitation equipment and organizing physical therapy sessions for patients.
Fixed and mobile disability teams in Lebanon work to:
- Identify the most vulnerable refugees
- Connect refugees with organizations and service providers able to meet their needs
- Monitor their ability to access emergency aid
Humanity & Inclusion also works to empower refugees with disabilities by fostering the emergence of organizations and representative groups that can effectively advocate for the needs of their communities.
Humanity & Inclusion works in close collaboration with local and international organizations to ensure that services for refugees and displaced people are accessible to people with reduced mobility.
Improve Mental Health of Children
Humanity & Inclusion works to improve the psychological welfare of the children of Palestinian families who are experiencing acute psychological suffering by providing mental health services in homes, and in centers run by local partner organizations.
Humanity & Inclusion also provides technical and managerial support to local partner organizations to strengthen the quality and sustainability of mental health services.
Enhance the Inclusion of People with Disabilities in Education
Humanity & Inclusion works to improve participation of vulnerable students with specific needs to formal and non-formal schools through tailored support to them and support to the Ministry of Education plans to enhance inclusive education in Lebanon.
Takoma Park, Maryland — On the second anniversary of the Syrian uprising, Handicap International condemns the inaction of the international community, which has failed in its duty to protect civilians or to give them equal access to humanitarian aid. Handicap International has been aiding victims of the Syrian conflict for ten months. After launching a relief effort for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, it extended activities inside Syria, where conditions are extremely harsh.
Two years after the first demonstrators hit the streets of Syria, the country is locked in a bloody civil war that has already claimed the lives of nearly 70,000 people and forced nearly 4 million others to take refuge abroad or inside Syria. This incredibly violent crisis, in which civilians have faced two years of continuous fighting, claims more and more victims. They continue to be killed by bullets or bombs, severely wounded or burned, and traumatized by the hell of their everyday lives.
Handicap International began supplying aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon in May 2012, before extending its operations into Syria. More than 160 Handicap International staff work in these three countries to case-manage victims. By June 2013, almost 37,000 people will have benefited from the charity’s direct assistance, while 9,000 people have learned how to spot and avoid weapons and explosive remnants of war.
Few organizations operate in the north of Syria. Handicap International is the only one providing post-surgery emergency rehabilitation care to victims, many of whom are children. It is common for our teams to provide rehabilitation care and orthopedic devices to people who have lost both legs, or an arm and a leg.
Given the extreme suffering of the Syrian people, Handicap International has already admonished representatives of the international community for their failure to apply principles of civilian protection and for their lack of action.
“It is clear that diplomatic pressure on all parties to this conflict has failed to prevent civilians from being deliberately targeted, in total disregard for international humanitarian law, and sometimes with indescribable cruelty,” says Jean-Baptiste Richardier, executive director of Handicap International.
Despite advances in obtaining authorization from the Syrian authorities to access government-controlled areas, the north of Syria remains appallingly isolated. The significance and preservation of international humanitarian law are at stake as well as the capacity of the international community to combat its own despondency.
“This conflict has unfolded behind closed doors,” Richardier adds. “Humanitarian organizations, which are ready and willing to intervene, are not being given adequate resources to supply the humanitarian assistance required to meet the immense needs of the people. As a result of this wait-and-see policy, a growing number of Syrians have had to flee their country, with one million refugees already registered in neighboring countries. There will also be dramatic and long-term consequences for everyone left without adequate care, some of whom will develop disabilities as a result. Statements on the accessibility of northern Syria for aid passing through government-controlled areas should not, however, minimize the serious deficiency of emergency relief getting through to this region. Any other conclusion would be a lie, and the international community should not be satisfied with the little progress made so far.”
Elizabeth MacNairn, executive director of Handicap International’s US office, adds that "the victims of this bloody conflict will bear the physical and psychological scars for years to come. The international community must not only respond immediately with lifesaving assistance, but also in the medium- and long-term to help the Syrian people rebuild and reclaim their lives.”
About Handicap International
Co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, Handicap International is an independent international aid organization. It has been working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster for 30 years. Working alongside persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, our actions and testimony focus on responding to their essential needs, improving their living conditions, and promoting respect for their dignity and basic rights. Since 1982, Handicap International has set up development programs in more than 60 countries and intervenes in numerous emergency situations. The network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States) works constantly to mobilize resources, jointly manage projects and to increase the impact of the organization's principles and actions. Handicap International is one of six founding organizations of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and winner of the 2011 Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Handicap International takes action and campaigns in places where “standing tall” is no easy task.
Mica Bevington, Director of Communications and Marketing
Handicap International US
+1 (240) 450-3531
Molly Feltner, Communications and Marketing Officer
Handicap International US
+1 (240) 450-3528
On April 24, 2012, the Handicap International team in Lebanon restored two plots of cleared land to villagers from Toula.