Improving Livelihoods for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon: Better Access, More Opportunities, Enhanced Capacities

ILO and UNRWA launch an entrepreneurship and self-employment project among Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to facilitate their entry to the labour market.

UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, aims to help some 5.6 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip achieve full potential in human development. The Palestinian refugees represent a considerable proportion of the population in Lebanon and face many challenges to enter the workforce. Not only are they restricted from practicing certain jobs, they are also subject to difficult and less favourable working conditions.

It is in that context, that UNRWA approached the ILO with funding from the Netherlands to develop its field approach for youth self-employment and to facilitate their entry to the labour force through entrepreneurship awareness/education and the provision of non-financial business support services to complement the existing micro credit support programme.

The project targets four major pillars/programmes of UNRWA namely: Siblin Training Centers (STCs), the Micro Credit Community Support Programme (MCSP), Employment Service Centers (ESCs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs).


  • "Know About Business” (KAB) adopted as the entrepreneurship education curricula for young Palestinian women and men enrolled in the Sibline Training Center (North and South).
  • UNRWA ESCs are capable of providing, the ILO “Start and Improve Your Business” (SIYB) programme through the MCSP, CBOs and free-lance trainers, to existing and potential young entrepreneurs in order to start viable small businesses.
  • The Burj Al Barajneh and Beddawi CBOs operate as commercially driven social enterprises is built.

Main Activities

  • Build the capacity of STC staff on the KAB programme.
  • Develop the capacity of ESC and MCSP staff in the implementation of the ILO SIYB programme.
  • Build the capacity of both the Burj Al Barajneh and Beddawi CBOs to operate as commercially driven social enterprises.


  • Fostering an entrepreneurial culture among Palestinian refugee youth.
  • Non-financial business support services complement the provision of loans.
  • Two CBOs operate as sustainable social enterprises.