Nahr el-Bared refugee camp

24 November 2009

Nahr el Bared camp is 16km north of Tripoli near the coastal road in north Lebanon.

Smiling girl

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 began providing services for the refugees in 1950.

Its proximity to the Syrian border led Nahr el-Bared to become a central commercial hub for local Lebanese in the Akkar region.


In mid-2007, around 27,000 Palestine refugees were displaced from Nahr el Bared camp and its adjacent areas in northern Lebanon, as a result of the conflict between the Lebanese Armed Forces and the extremist group Fatah Al-Islam , which had established itself in the camp..

The camp was pounded with heavy artillery and aerial bombardments during the three-month siege. An estimated 95 per cent of all buildings and infrastructure were either destroyed or damaged beyond repair, forcing residents to flee to nearby Beddawi camp.

Reconstruction and recovery

Nearly 5,900 families remain uprooted from their homes and are completely reliant on UNRWA’s assistance. Since the conflict, the Agency has been providing assistance to the displaced residents in the form of shelter and food assistance, and basic health care and educational support. UNRWA will continue to provide this urgently needed aid until reconstruction is complete and people are able to return to their homes.

UNRWA is taking on the complex task of rebuilding the camp with close coordination from the government of Lebanon and with financial support from the international donor community. The most recent estimate of the cost of reconstructing Nahr el-Bared camp is US$ 345 million. To date, only 44 per cent has been secured, leaving a shortfall of US$ 183 million.

In April 2011, the Agency celebrated a milestone in the reconstruction when the first families began returning to their newly built homes in the camp. As of October 2011, more than 300 families have received the keys to their new homes and some local businesses have been able to return.

The reconstruction of the first three school buildings, in the UNRWA compound within the camp, has also been completed. This has allowed more than 2,400 primary and secondary school students to relocate from overcrowded temporary schools.

More about UNRWA‘s response to the Nahr el-Bared crisis

Read more

Nahr el-Bared reconstruction report (PDF – 2010)
Relief and recovery assistance report (PDF – 2010)
Nahr el-Bared reconstruction (PDF – 2011)