Lebanon

Flash Update: Humanitarian Impact of Telecommunications Price Hikes in Lebanon, August 2022

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Summary

On July 1, a major telecommunication price hike was implemented in Lebanon, which will have significant ramifications for Lebanon’s most vulnerable residents as well as aid programming across the country. The price increase for this essential service, upon which millions of Lebanese residents rely, comes amid an ongoing economic crisis and a lack of corresponding wage increases across many sectors, notably the public sector. The hike is expected to significantly impact the ability of aid beneficiaries to receive assistance-related information on a variety of programs and negatively impact how aid recipients communicate with implementing organizations to provide feedback or access information on programs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Aid actors reported a major drop in calls received on accountability hotlines during July, after the price hikes took place.
  • The price hike will exacerbate the stress on household budgets already struggling to cope with rampant inflation.
  • The phasing out of 2g services will disproportionately affect those unable to afford newer phones, affecting up to 230,000 users.
  • The inability of large parts of the resident population to afford basic communication and internet access will continue to pose challenges to aid actors’ community outreach activities and case management, notably for those with protection concerns.
  • Increased obstacles to reaching out to different institutions’ hotlines will have ramifications for beneficiaries seeking to report abuse, corruption and fraud.