The UNHCR Sub-Office Zahle was first established in May 2012 to respond to the intensifying inflow of Syrian refugees into Lebanon through the Masnaa Border Crossing in the Bekaa – the busiest crossing point between Lebanon and Syria.
The Bekaa spans an area of more than 4,400 square km, nearly 40 per cent of the total surface area of Lebanon, with a Lebanese population estimated at 1,000,000 residents. The UNHCR Sub-Office Zahle covers the entire Bekaa valley, which comprises two governorates (Bekaa and Baalbek El Hermel) that contain five districts, 166 municipalities, and 14 unions of municipalities.
As of 01 January 2023, the total number of registered Syrian refugees in the Bekaa stood at 318,713 individuals. The Bekaa hosts the largest number of registered refugees in the country at 39 % of the total number of registered refugees.
The UNHCR Sub-Office Zahle works with over 50 operational partners and has agreements with 10 partners to implement a variety of projects, including in protection, community-based protection, shelter, cash assistance, etc. UNHCR Sub-Office Zahle also has a network of 274 refugee volunteers who work daily to assist refugee families by sharing information. raising awareness, feeding back information to UNHCR and partners, and referring persons in need of assistance.
UNHCR Bekaa Sub-Office