The Lebanese Government, the United Nations and partners on Monday announced a $3.2 billion appeal for the country to address the ongoing impacts of the war in neighbouring Syria and the current economic crisis.
The 2022 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP) aims to deliver critical assistance to more than three million people as vulnerabilities rise, and to support public infrastructure, services, and the local economy.
The plan takes an integrated approach to address the needs of both Syrians and Palestinian refugees uprooted by the conflict, now in its 11th year, and the Lebanese communities hosting them.
Families unable to cope
Najat Rochdi, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon, reported that nine out of 10 Syrians in the country are living in poverty, while poverty levels have also risen substantially for Lebanese citizens, migrants and Palestinian refugees.
“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,” she said.
Ms Rochdi was speaking alongside Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, and Minister for Social Affairs, Hector Hajjar, at the plan’s launch in the capital, Beirut.
Lebanon, which has an overall population of approximately 6.7 million, remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita and per square kilometre, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.
“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, remains a top priority for the Government of Lebanon and its partners,” said Mr Hajjar.
“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.”
Responding to rising needs
The LCRP brings together more than 126 humanitarian partners to assist 3.2 million people in the country this year. The aim is to provide support to 1.5 million Lebanese, 1.5 million displaced Syrians, and more than 209,000 Palestinian refugees.
It complements other internationally-supported humanitarian and development initiatives in Lebanon, such as the Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Plan launched in the wake of the deadly and devastating Beirut port explosions in August 2020.
UN and Lebanon boost collaboration on reform
In a further announcement on Monday, the UN and Lebanon have signed an agreement to boost cooperation in key areas and achieve sustainable development.
The “partnership compact” aims to ensure coordinated and coherent support to the Lebanese Parliament in achieving key reform priorities, with the technical support of the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Lebanon.
The agreement was signed by Lebanese Speaker of Parliament, Nabih Berri, and Ms Rochdi, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the country.
Both officials welcomed the progress made in strengthening the existing cooperation between the UNCT and the Lebanese Parliament. They also stressed the importance of fostering and institutionalizing this partnership and scaling up joint efforts in instituting reforms.