MSF first worked in Lebanon in 1976 to respond to the Lebanese Civil War and during the Israeli offensive in 1978, operating in the South and Beirut areas in what represents the organisation's first intervention in a conflict area. During the July 2006 war, MSF assisted the population by providing emergency aid, including medical care, fresh water and sanitation facilities to hundreds of thousands of displaced persons seeking refuge in Beirut, Saida, Sour, Jezzine, Nabatiye and the Aley region. Assistance was also given to Lebanese refugees who had crossed into Syria.
MSF has been running community-based mental health programmes in the area of Burj el-Barajneh in the southern suburbs of Beirut and Ein el-Hilweh Refugee Camp in the southern city of Saida, providing psychological and psychiatric support for the most vulnerable Palestinian and Lebanese living in the refugee camps and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Over the past three years, more than 2,200 people have benefited from this programme. In total, more than 15,500 free-of-charge psychological and psychiatric consultations have taken place. Recently, with thousands of Syrians—many of whom have physical wounds—fleeing the violence in their country and seeking refuge in Lebanon, we dispatched medical teams to evaluate their health status. This resulted in our setting up a new health program in Wadi Khaled, in the north of Lebanon, in November 2011.