Our project, born during the Covid-19 pandemic with the support of BPRM, focuses on the well-being of vulnerable women and children in the Beqaa and Nabatiyeh regions.


(photo Martina Martelloni)


Abir is a 48-year-old divorced Lebanese woman who had to face numerous challenges and difficulties when she decided to distance herself from her husband, who had a negative influence on her entire family. Determined to build a better life for herself and her daughters, she chose to search for a rental home in Kabrikha, in the Marjeyoun district. However, she began experiencing harassment from the landlord, who exploited her status as a divorced woman, alone without a source of income, to blackmail her in exchange for sexual favors.

Despite her fear, Abir made the decision to move again, this time to the Nabatiyeh district, where she started searching for a new job. It’s here that she came into contact with INTERSOS, specifically with a social worker from the team working to reach vulnerable individuals who might not be aware of their situation and the services they can access. Abir was therefore taken under their care.

After the initial meeting with the INTERSOS team, the woman was able to access a range of services, including economic assistance, group psychological support, and career training. The six-month economic support played a crucial role in ensuring her survival; it helped her avoid eviction and provided the stability she needed to start reconstructing her life. Furthermore, she had the opportunity to enroll in a vocational sewing course, which significantly enhanced her prospects of securing employment.

Abir’s narrative serves as just a single illustration of the daily hurdles that women encounter in Lebanon. Take Hala, for instance, a 20-year-old Syrian woman, married and a mother of two children. She was abruptly separated from her husband due to a legal dispute. This separation thrust her into the role of breadwinner within a cultural context where it’s conventionally the husband’s responsibility to work and care for the children. Additionally, Hala’s entry into Lebanon wasn’t sanctioned by legal channels, leaving her in a constant state of apprehension about being discovered and repatriated to Syria.

In an effort to support her family, she started working as a cleaner, experiencing harassment from her employer. Realizing that she needed help for herself and her children, Hala contacted INTERSOS through the social assistance line, a tool we use to shorten the distance to people who may need help and which allows us to listen carefully to requests and needs, offer information, advice and guidance on available services and resources, and consider starting a path to support.

Hala received legal assistance from our experienced staff: legal documentation plays a key role in the lives of Syrian refugees, which is why our team helped Hala obtain legal recognition of her marriage and her child’s birth certificate.

Thanks to the support of BPRM (Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration), we care for people like Abir and Hala in Lebanon, offering well-rounded protection services. Abir and Hala’s stories show us that everything can improve when people have the right means and help at their disposal. With BPRM’s support, we are working to ensure essential services for the independence of women at risk or who are survivors of gender-based violence.

Our project, developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, focuses on the welfare of vulnerable women and children in the Beqaa and Nabatiyeh regions. We aim to provide assistance to nearly 20,000 people and raise awareness of over 42,000 on issues related to protection and deconstruction of gender stereotypes. The humanitarian crisis in Lebanon, compounded by the economic collapse the country has been facing since 2019, is only worsening the plight of thousands of women and girls. With more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees, inflation that reached 157.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, and shortages of fuel, food, and medicine, Lebanon is witnessing a drastic reduction in the standard of living and a significant increase in poverty levels. According to UNHCR data, about 23 percent of Lebanese have fallen into extreme poverty, while 91 percent of displaced Syrians live on less than $3.8 a day.