The Wavel camp was originally a French army barracks, and the original twelve buildings provided shelter to Palestine refugees in 1948.
In 1952, UNRWA assumed responsibility for providing services in the camp. Wavel is 90km east of Beirut in the Beqaa Valley, near the city of Baalbek.
Although the camp suffered less structural damage than other camps during the years of civil conflict, living conditions are particularly severe.
Housing is unhealthy as many refugees still live in the original Mandate-era army barracks, which lack daylight and ventilation. Conditions are particularly harsh in the winter, as the valley is a remote rural area with severe winter weather.
When combined with poverty, these conditions result in a number of social problems. Palestine refugees are only able to find seasonal work in agriculture and construction. Students often drop out of school in order to support their families.
The camp’s water system, sewerage and storm water drainage systems were recently rehabilitated.