Burj Shemali Camp

The Burj Shemali camp is 3km east of the city of Tyre in south Lebanon.

Girl holding hands

The camp was established to provide tented shelter for refugees from Hawla and Tiberias in northern Palestine in 1948. The camp also houses displaced Palestine refugees from other parts of Lebanon. UNRWA began providing services there in 1955.

The camp suffered a great deal of damage during the years of civil conflict and much work still needs to be done to improve the infrastructure.

Most shelters have been rebuilt with concrete blocks, though there are still many makeshift centres with zinc roofing. All shelters have electricity. Water is supplied through three UNRWA-operated wells. The water supply network and the sewerage and storm water drainage systems were funded by the EU. The camp is supplied with potable water from four local wells.

Unemployment is extremely high in Burj Shemali. Most men find work in seasonal agriculture, construction and manual work. Women work in agriculture and as house cleaners.

The camp has recently undergone infrastructure improvements, including instalment of a water supply network and sewerage system. A four-year project to repair or reconstruct 450 shelters began in 2007.

  • More than 22,789 registered refugees
  • Four schools
  • One health centre
  • Demographic profile:
    Graph of Burj Shemali's demographic profile
Programmes in the camp
  • Health
  • Education
  • Social safety-net
  • Disability
  • Women’s centre
Major problems
  • High unemployment
  • Damaged infrastructure


We provide services in 12 Palestine refugee camps in Lebanon. UNRWA does not administer or police the camps, as this is the responsibility of the host authorities.
UNRWA launched the #DignityIsPriceless campaign in Gaza on 22 January 2018. © 2018 UNRWA Photo Rushdi Al Saraj
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