In 2021, we opened a new clinic to respond to the medical needs of migrant workers who have been impacted by the economic crisis. There are approximately 250,000 migrant workers in Lebanon, in addition to over 1.5 million refugees, mainly Palestinians and Syrians, many of whom live in precarious conditions in overcrowded camps. MSF activities in the eastern and northern areas of the country have been developed to cover the needs of these people, often facing limited access to medical care.
COVID-19 dealt yet another blow to the overstretched health care system. Some health care workers left the country, while many health facilities in Beirut that were damaged in the port explosion in 2020 remained unrepaired.
MSF supported the COVID-19 response by temporarily transforming our hospital in Bar Elias into a COVID-19 treatment center during the first months of 2021. Our teams also assisted with vaccinations for people most at risk, such as the elderly, medical staff, and detainees, and deployed mobile teams to vaccinate communities in the remote area of Akkar, in the north of Lebanon.