UN launches $3.2 billion plan for crisis-hit Lebanon to support families, refugees
The United Nations has announced a $3.2 billion plan for Lebanon to address ongoing impacts from the long-running economic crisis and the war in neighboring Syria, the international body said in a statement on Monday.
The announcement was made by the country’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati, the Minister for Social Affairs Hector Hajjar, and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Najat Rochdi in Beirut, Lebanon.
The 2022 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP) aims to deliver critical assistance to more than three million people and to support services, infrastructure, and the local economy overall as the crisis continues to cripple the country’s economy, depriving people of their basic needs.
The plan is a multi-stakeholder response co-led by the Lebanese government and the UN, and will include the contribution of several other entities, including local and international NGOs.
The approach will address the needs of displaced Syrians, Palestinian refugees from Syria, and the Lebanese host communities through humanitarian and stabilization interventions, focused primarily on the maintenance of service provision through public institutions at the local level.
Support will be provided to 1.5 million Lebanese, 1.5 million displaced Syrian, and over 209,000 Palestinian refugees.
“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,” Hajjar said.
The economic crisis has worsened in Lebanon as more people fall deeper into poverty due to currency depreciation, high inflation, loss of incomes and rising costs.
“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,” Rochdi said.
“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,” the UN coordinator added, stressing that municipalities needed to be supported to keep basic service running amid massive capacity gaps.
Over the next two months, 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 Program, which donors fund under the LCRP, providing aid to up to 75,000 families.
According to the UN, the $9 billion provided through the LCRP plan in 2015 showed “tangible results” for Lebanon’s population of displaced people.
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 percent compared to 2020, the UN statement added.
Source: Al Arabiya
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