Shatila Camp

The Shatila camp in southern Beirut was established in 1949 by the International Committee of the Red Cross to accommodate the hundreds of refugees who poured into the area from Amka, Majed al-Kroum and al-Yajour area villages in northern Palestine after 1948.

Archive photo of UN car

The camp was devastated during the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and was frequently targeted during the Lebanese civil war, which resulted in the destruction of property and displacement of refugees.

Most of men work as labourers or run grocery stores, and women work as cleaners.

Environmental health conditions in Shatila are extremely bad. Shelters are damp and overcrowded, and many have open drains. The sewerage system needs considerable expansion. An infrastructure project is currently being implemented in the camp to upgrade the sewage, the storm water system and the water network.

  • More than 9,842 registered refugees
  • Two schools
  • One health centre
  • Demographic profile:
    Graph of Shatila's demographic profile
Programmes in the camp
  • Health
  • Education
  • Social safety-net
  • Disability
Major problems
  • Bad environmental health
  • Damp and overcrowded shelters


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.