Mar Elias Camp

The smallest camp in Lebanon, Mar Elias was founded in 1952 by the Mar Elias Greek Orthodox convent to accommodate Palestine refugees from the Galilee in northern Palestine. It is located southwest of Beirut.

Archive photo of refugees dancing

Most of the men in the camp work as casual labourers or for small businesses, such as grocery stores or car maintenance workshops. Some women work in sewing factories or as cleaners.

There is a high incidence of chronic disease in this camp, with many refugees suffering from hypertension, cancer and diabetes.

The infrastructure needs comprehensive rehabilitation.

  • Around 662 registered refugees
  • One school
  • One health centre
  • Demographic profile:
    Graph of Mar Elias' demographic profile
Programmes in the camp
  • Health
  • Education
  • Social safety-net
  • Disability
Major problems
  • Unemployment
  • High chronic disease levels
  • High take-up of social safety net
  • Infrastructure needs refurbishment


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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