Lebanon’s Minister for Social Affairs and Tourism, Professor Ramzi Moucharafieh, and the UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ms. Najat Rochdi, launched today the 2021 update of the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2017-2021. As the world marks ten years since the start of the crisis in Syria, the Government of Lebanon and its national and international partners are appealing for US$ 2.75 billion to provide critical humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the Syria crisis, as well as invest in Lebanon’s public infrastructure, services and local economy. The LCRP brings together more than 112 partner organizations to assist more than 2.8 million crisis-affected people living in Lebanon. It aims to provide protection and immediate relief assistance to 1.9 million Syrian refugees, vulnerable Lebanese and Palestine refugees; deliver basic services to 2.5 million people; and seek to mitigate the impacts of the Syria crisis on Lebanon’s infrastructure, economy and public institutions.
Since 2011, US$8.807 billion has been received in support of the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan. The assistance made possible by donor contributions and implemented by humanitarian, Government and development partners, has generated a real difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of families.
In 2020, and thanks to projects falling under the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, 350,000 people were able to access to safe water. 929,000 people received food assistance. 967,000 subsidized primary healthcare consultations were provided. More than 400,000 children – both Syrian and Lebanese – were enrolled in school and, 100,000 individuals were able to access legal aid and life-saving sexual and gender-based violence services.
The concerted response by the Government, the international partners and Lebanese civil society prevented a sharp decline in socio-economic vulnerability levels for displaced Syrians between 2015 and 2019. At the same time, support under the LCRP to Lebanon’s public institutions seeking to improve all populations’ access to basic services has continuously increased from $171.5m in 2015 to more than $245.4m in 2019.
However, needs in the country have dramatically increased, exacerbated by the multiple crises that Lebanon has experienced, from an economic decline to the COVID-19 pandemic to the devastating Beirut port explosions. Ten years into the protracted Syria crisis, refugees’ assistance and protection needs are steadily increasing along with those of all communities in Lebanon. Currently 91% of Syrian families are living below the poverty line on less than USD 3.84 a day. An estimated 55% of Lebanese also live below the poverty line throughout the country. As families’ vulnerability worsens, tensions between and within communities are rising due to competition over resources and services as people strive to meet their basic needs.
“Addressing the overwhelming and urgent needs of the people is at the heart of the work of the United Nations in Lebanon, including those who were directly affected by the Syrian crisis. We are here to respond to a multi-faceted crisis of devastating proportions,” said Rochdi. “With the generous support of donors, the UN with its humanitarian partners mobilized their efforts to provide life-saving assistance and respond to the horrendous Beirut Port explosions. But there is still a long way to support the refugees, the host communities, the migrants and also the Lebanese reeling under the socio-economic crisis who deserve our full solidarity and commitment.” she added.
For his part, Moucharafieh emphasized: “it is vital that we continue to build on the LCRP achievements in partnership with UN agencies and NGOs, which has been made possible thanks to the very generous support of donors. The situation in Lebanon remains extremely worrying, with vulnerabilities among the displaced Syrians and the Lebanese host communities snowballing. We urgently need donors to scale up their support to bridge the growing gaps in the response in light of the compounded crises. It is essential that we can consciously and visibly increase support to refugees and host communities alike to tackle aid bias and in order to avoid exacerbating tensions over jobs and public services and promote conflict sensitivity”.
The LCRP 2017-2021 is the key tool of the response to the impact of the Syria crisis in Lebanon. As well as providing protection and assistance to those directly affected by the crisis – including Syrian displaced, Palestinian refugees, and Lebanese – the LCRP plays a central role in supporting Lebanon’s public services for the benefit of all.