Prime Minister Najib Mikati, together with the Minister for Social Affairs Hector Hajjar and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Najat Rochdi, today officially launched the 2022-2023 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Lebanon.
Eleven years into the Syria crisis, the Government of Lebanon and its national and international partners today appealed for $3.2 billion to address the ongoing impact of the Syria crisis through delivery of critical assistance to people in need and support to Lebanon’s public infrastructure, services and local economy, amid deepening vulnerabilities. The Lebanon Crisis Response Plan brings together more than 126 partners to assist 3.2 million people in need living in Lebanon. It aims to provide support to 1.5 million Lebanese, 1.5 million displaced Syrians, and more than 209,000 Palestinian refugees.
The Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2022 is a multi-stakeholder response co-led by the Government and the UN and contributed to by a wide range of entities including local and international NGOs. The response plan takes an integrated approach to addressing the needs of both Syrian displaced, Palestine refugees from Syria and the Lebanese host communities through a combination of humanitarian and stabilization interventions, including a focus on the maintenance of service provision through public institutions at the local level.
The $9 billion assistance provided through the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan since 2015 has shown tangible results for the host population and displaced persons. In 2021, nearly 2.3 million subsidized health consultations were provided through Primary Healthcare Centres, including over one million consultations to vulnerable Lebanese and over one million to displaced Syrians. More than $375 million was injected into Lebanon’s economy through cash-based interventions supporting vulnerable Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian families. In response to the growing food needs, a total of 2.1 million individuals across these populations were provided with cash-based and in-kind food assistance, an increase of 45% compared to 2020. Within this number, 572,000 people received food parcels, including over 350,000 Lebanese. Amid growing mental health needs, more than 26,300 Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian children and 10,000 caregivers benefited from focused psychosocial support activities. To seek to preserve economic and social stability, more than 119 municipalities were supported to strengthen basic service provision and reduce resource pressure through community support projects in high-risk communities, including rehabilitation of infrastructure for livelihoods, education and agricultural land.
“Lebanon has been hosting displaced Syrians now for more than 11 years. As resources are further stretched by the economic crisis, increased support to the displaced and for the Lebanese host communities remain a top priority for the Government of Lebanon and its partners. It remains essential for a fair distribution of support without any discrimination to people affected by the crisis, including Lebanese villages and towns hosting the displaced, in order to alleviate the burdens placed upon them. We urge you to stand by Lebanon, its people and government, and by the displaced to respond to their urgent needs, and work together to overcome obstacles to their safe return to their homeland”, said Minister for Social Affairs Hector Hajjar.
“With the continuing impact of the Syria crisis and the current economic crisis in Lebanon pushing everyone to the brink, partners’ joint efforts to support refugees and the host community through the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan remain essential. Nine out of ten Syrians in Lebanon are living in poverty, while poverty levels have also risen substantially for Lebanese, migrants and Palestinians. These circumstances are driving negative coping mechanisms, as families are forced to send their children to work instead of school, skip meals or incur debt. It is important that municipalities are supported to keep basic services running amid massive capacity gaps”, said Najat Rochdi, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
In 2022, people across Lebanon are falling deeper into poverty due to currency depreciation, high inflation, rising prices and loss of income. Gaps in supply chains including fuel, wheat and electricity continue to impact the operational environment for LCRP partners, while they simultaneously face an increase in pressure from local authorities and communities to provide assistance amid escalating needs.
The Lebanese government has pledged to scale up the number of Lebanese families benefiting from regular cash-based assistance under the government-led National Poverty Targeting Programme, which donors fund under the LCRP, from 36,000 families to 75,000 families over the next two months. Moreover, the government has endorsed the National Social Protection Strategy which aims to provide a sustainable solution and thus enhance comprehensive and inclusive social protection for the most vulnerable groups in Lebanon. Outside of the LCRP, the government has committed to implementing the Emergency Social Safety Net program, financed by the World Bank through a loan, which has provided monthly cash assistance to approximately 60,000 of the poorest Lebanese families in US dollars for a period of one year. It is intended for this program to reach 150,000 families.
The LCRP complements a range of other internationally supported humanitarian and development initiatives in Lebanon. The Emergency Response Plan (ERP), launched in August 2021, aims to address the needs of the most vulnerable among the Lebanese, migrants, and Palestine refugees in Lebanon affected by the multiple crises. A revised appeal for the ERP was issued last week calling for $546 million to meet needs until the end of 2022. The Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Plan launched in 2020 continues to channel further funding to Lebanon, following the Beirut port explosions. The United Nations and the Government of Lebanon also recently signed the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework which aims to move towards a triple nexus approach, putting ultimately an end to humanitarian needs, strengthening the capacity of Lebanese institutions to deliver on their duties and ultimately promoting sustainable development to build the foundations for a prosperous and inclusive Lebanese society, where no one is left behind.