Beirut, Lebanon | November 16, 2013
As the war in neighbouring Syria drags on for a third year, Lebanon, a country of only 4 million people, is now home to the largest number of Syrian refugees who have fled the conflict. The situation is beginning to put huge social and political strains on Lebanon as there is currently no end in sight to the war in Syria.
According to the United Nations, almost two million Syrian refugees have been forced to flee their homes due to the ongoing war. Of those, around half are believed to be children. Lebanese officials estimate there are 1.4 million Syrians in the country, including 800,000 registered refugees. While there is no official data on the number of children and adults working on the streets Lebanon, it is estimated that it could be anywhere from 50,000 to 70,000. In wealthy districts of Beirut children and adults are viewed on nearly every block begging, looking through trash or offering pedestrians a shoe shine.
Photos by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
1) Fatma, a Syrian woman from the city of Idlib, begs with one of her two children. 2) Wallid, a Syrian refugee from the city of Daraa, displays his hand while taking a break from shining shoes. 3) A Syrian woman from the city of Damascus begs with her daughter in a wealthy district of Beirut. 4) A Syrian boy waits for customers in a wealthy district of Beirut.5) A Syrian woman from Kafer Hend sells chewing gum. 6) Mohammad, a Syrian boy from the city of Daraa, collects metal scrap to sell. 7) A Syrian woman sells lottery tickets. 8) Saad, a Syrian teen from the city of Raqqa, collects metal scrap to sell. 9) A young Syrian girl sells lighters in a wealthy district of Beirut. 10) A Syrian woman from Aleppo begs for money.