Working in Lebanon
UNRWA Lebanon Field Office is in Beirut Southern Suburb. UNRWA installations and offices are spread over the country, near to the Palestinian camps. Five Area Offices are located in Lebanon’s main areas (Tripoli, Beqaa, Saida, Tyre and Beirut), as well as installations and offices in the 12 camps and Palestinian gatherings.
Location and geography
Lebanon lies on the Mediterranean with Syria to the west and north, and Israel/occupied Palestinian territory to the south. The border with Israel is 79km, the border with Syria is 375km. The Mediterranean coastline is 225km along a low coastal plain. Inland, the Bekaa Valley separates the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountain range. Beirut, Saida, Tripoli, Tyre and Byblos are the main cities.
Beirut has a Mediterranean climate characterised by a hot and humid summer, pleasant fall and spring, and cool, rainy winter.
90.3 per cent of the population is Arab. Armenians, Kurds, and other minorities account for 9.7 per cent of the population.
Lebanon is a republic and Beirut is the capital.
Lebanon is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the Middle East, with significant numbers of both Christians and Muslims.
Lebanese are 60 per cent Muslim (Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 39 per cent (Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean, Assyrian, Copt, or Protestant), other 1 per cent.
Arabic is the official language of Lebanon. French, English and Armenian are also spoken.
The Lebanese pound (LBP) is the official currency.
Lebanese time is GMT +2 hours in winter and GMT +3 hours in summer.
Public health services are available to locals in rural areas but mainly in the five major cities. Private healthcare is more common and of high quality.
Primary, secondary and university education is available for the children of international staff members. Many foreign schools and universities are available in the country.
Varied accommodation is available. Beirut and its surroundings have many hotels, with more limited choices in the other main cities. Furnished apartments are not difficult to find, but can be relatively expensive depending on the location.
Beirut has frequent bus connections to other cities in Lebanon and major cities in Syria. Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport is in the southern suburbs. Buses connect to international destinations and a taxi service is available within the city. Car rental companies provide self-driven cars or cars with a chauffeur. Lebanese taxis are comfortable and reasonably priced.
International telephone services and cellular phone services are widely available. The two main cellular telephone lines currently operating in Lebanon are foreign (MTC is Kuwaiti and Alfa is French). The cellular line subscription/fees are among the highest in the region, because of high taxes and lack of competition. Landlines are abundant in all cities, and DSL internet is available. Wireless internet is also easily found.
Living in Beirut
Beirut is the largest city in Lebanon with a population of 1.5 million. It is Lebanon’s capital and main seaport. Beirut is also the focal point of the region's social life, renowned for its resorts, theatres and cultural activities. Beirut has a wide array of nightclubs and international restaurants, as well as first class hotels and a number of small, well-run hostelries conveniently located in business areas.