Joined the programme in 2018

With more than 6 million residents, Lebanon experienced rapid and uncontrolled growth for decades. Today 88% of the population lives in urban areas and the lack of local planning hinders the city’s capacity to absorb the influx of new residents.1 Large parts of Beirut’s suburbs are now informal settlements housing refugees and impoverished Lebanese citizens who often have poor health as a result of their living conditions.2

The diabetes challenge in Beirut


of adults in Lebanon are physically inactive (43.7% of adult men, 34.2% of adult women).3


is around of daily trips in greater Beirut are made in private cars, and less than 2% in buses.4

Reducing obesity: an opportunity for change in Beirut 

Without action, the increase of adult obesity in Beirut will continue along current trends. However, if weight distribution were to remain at 2017 levels and we could reduce the rate of obesity by 25%, Beirut would see more than 125,000 fewer cases of type 2 diabetes and save almost 110 million dollars in healthcare expenditure by 2045.5

"Despite the dark image we see of Lebanon and Beirut, I see hope in the people and the neighbourhoods and the people who work in the organisations. Beirut can be a healthier city. With the capacity and the opportunity, people would follow a healthier lifestyle, and they would be able to seek assistance."

— Dima Zayat, Health Manager of ANERA, Lebanon

Download Beirut fact sheet


Isma'eel HA, Almedawar MM, Breidy J, et al. Worsening of the Cardiovascular Profile in a Developing Country: The Greater Beirut Area Cardiovascular Cohort. Glob Heart. 201 8: 1—9e. 


Cities Changing Diabetes. Diabetes Projection Model, Lebanon. Data on file. Novo Nordisk. In: Incentive, ed. Holte, Denmark2017.


Chen L, Magliano DJ, Zimmet PZ. The worldwide epidemiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus—present and future perspectives. Nature reviews endocrinology.


International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8 ed. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation;201 7.