As vulnerabilities increase, the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2022 (CLRP) aims to provide essential assistance to more than three million people and support public infrastructure, services and the local economy.
It advocates an integrated approach to meet the needs of Syrian and Palestinian refugees uprooted by the Syrian conflict, now in its 11th year, as well as those of the Lebanese communities hosting them.
Families unable to support themselves
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon Najat Rochdi said nine out of ten Syrians live in poverty in the country, while poverty levels have also risen substantially for Lebanese citizens, migrants and refugees. Palestinian refugees.
Lebanon, with a population of around 6.7 million, remains the country hosting the highest number of refugees per capita and per square kilometer
“These circumstances result in negative coping mechanisms, with families forced to send their children to work instead of school, skip meals or go into debt,” she explained, pointing out that t is important that municipalities are supported to maintain basic services in a context of huge capacity deficits.
Ms Rochdi spoke alongside Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar at the Plan’s launch in the capital, Beirut.
An absolute priority
Lebanon, with a population of around 6.7 million, remains the country hosting the highest number of refugees per capita per square kilometer, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
“Lebanon has been hosting displaced Syrians for more than 11 years now. As resources are increasingly stretched by the economic crisis, increased support for displaced people and Lebanese host communities remains a top priority for the Lebanese government and its partners,” said Mr. Hajjar.
“We urge you to stand with Lebanon, its people and its government, with the displaced people to meet their urgent needs, and to work together to overcome the obstacles to their safe return to their homeland. “, he added.
Meet growing needs
The PRCL brings together more than 126 humanitarian partners and seeks to help 3.2 million people in the country this year. The aim is to support 1.5 million Lebanese, 1.5 million displaced Syrians and more than 209,000 Palestinian refugees.
It complements other humanitarian and development initiatives supported by the international community in Lebanon, such as the reform, recovery and reconstruction plan launched following the deadly and devastating explosions at the port of Beirut in August 2020.
This year poverty is worsening across the country due to currency depreciation, high inflation, rising prices and loss of income.
The Lebanese government has pledged to increase the number of local families receiving regular cash assistance under the national anti-poverty program from 36,000 families to 75,000 over the next two months
Gaps in supply chains, including fuel, wheat and electricity continue to affect PRCL partners, who are also facing increased pressure from local authorities and communities to provide assistance in the face of escalation of needs.
The Lebanese government has pledged to increase the number of local families receiving regular cash assistance under the government-led, donor-funded National Poverty Alleviation Program under the PRCL . The goal is to increase from 36,000 families to 75,000 over the next two months.
The government has also approved a national strategy aimed at strengthening social protection for the most vulnerable groups in Lebanon.
Apart from the PRCL, the national authorities are also committed to implementing the emergency social safety net programme, financed by a loan from the World Bank.
This program provided monthly cash assistance to approximately 60,000 of the poorest Lebanese families for a period of one year. Its goal is to reach 150,000 families in total.
Humanitarians report that the $9 billion in aid provided by the PRCL since 2015 has shown tangible results in Lebanon, for the host population as well as the displaced.
For example, nearly 2.3 million subsidized medical consultations were provided by primary health care centers last year.
Additionally, more than $375 million has been injected into the economy through cash-based interventions supporting vulnerable Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian families.
Some 2.1 million people from these communities also received cash and in-kind food assistance, a 45% increase from 2020.
Faced with growing mental health needs, more than 26,300 Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian children, as well as 10,000 caregivers, benefited from targeted psychosocial support activities.
In addition, nearly 120 municipalities have received support to strengthen the provision of basic services through community projects in high-risk areas, including the rehabilitation of infrastructure for livelihoods, education and land. agricultural.
UN and Lebanon strengthen collaboration on reform
The UN and Lebanon also announced on Monday the signing of an agreement aimed at strengthening cooperation in key areas and achieving sustainable development.
This “partnership contract” aims to ensure coordinated and coherent support to the Lebanese Parliament in achieving key reform priorities, with the technical support of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Lebanon.
The agreement was signed by the Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, Nabih Berri, and Ms. Rochdi, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the country.
The two officials welcomed the progress made in strengthening the existing cooperation between the UNCT and the Lebanese Parliament. They also stressed the importance of encouraging and institutionalizing this partnership, and intensifying joint efforts in the implementation of reforms.