Lebanon

    The absolute poverty line, which is defined in Lebanon as the income level at which an average family of five can meet its food requirements and other basic needs such as health, education, housing and clothing, was estimated at $618 per month at the end of 1993. In the same period, the extreme poverty line, defined as the income level at which a family of five can meet only its food requirements, was estimated at $306 per month. Given these figures, 28% of Lebanese families are estimated to live below the absolute poverty line, while, of these, 7.25% live below the extreme poverty line. This means that around one million Lebanese live in poverty, whilst 250,000 live in extreme poverty.

    In rural areas, 75% of families whose primary provider works in agriculture are poor, and 40% of these are extremely poor. Two thirds of the extremely poor - around 165,000 - live in rural areas and represent more than a quarter of the population in these areas.

    In urban centers, namely Beirut, Tripoli, Sidon, Tyre, Zahleh, and their suburbs, there are around 750,000 poor, around 90,000 of whom are extremely poor. The urban poor mainly belong to families whose primary provider works in the civil service (31% of which live below the absolute poverty line) or in industry (26% of which live below the absolute poverty line). Some 8% of urban families live below the extreme poverty line, 5% in the civil service and 3% in industry.