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Lebanon: 2021 1st Quarter Sector Dashboard - Food Security and Agriculture

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The dashboard summarizes the progress made by partners involved in the Lebanese Crisis Response Plan and highlights trends affecting people in need. The Food Security and Agriculture sector in Lebanon is working to: OUTCOME 1) Promote food availability; OUTCOME 2)
Promote food accessibility; OUTCOME 3) Promote food utilization; OUTCOME 4) Promote stabilization.

1. Key achievements of the sector at the output level

The beginning of 2021 continued to witness the dire impact of the multiple crisis in Lebanon on vulnerable populations, with a further deterioration in the food security status of all populations. Twenty percent of Lebanese, 50 percent of displaced Syrians, and 33 percent of refugees of other nationalities are estimated to be food insecure.2 With the latest market developments, these estimates are likely to increase.

The expected modification or removal of the subsidies on essential goods (including key commodities and medicine) could further increase inflation. The lifting or removal of subsidies would not only decrease households’ purchasing power (especially for the most vulnerable),3 but will likely also lead to and increase competition over resources, tensions, discrimination and potentially civil unrest.

In this context, during the Q1 of 2021, the Food Security and Agriculture sector partners have been working to cushion the impact of the crisis on all population cohorts, with food assistance and interventions in support to agricultural livelihoods.

In Q1, 108,317 displaced Syrians received in-kind food assistance through dry food parcels, either as one-offs or short-term assistance, while 832,000 continued to receive monthly cash-based food assistance, with almost USD 47 million redeemed by beneficiaries in Q1. Women represented respectively 54 and 52 percent of the caseload. The food voucher modality was used to assist an additional 6,792 displaced Syrians. However, more than 470,000 displaced Syrians, currently living under the SMEB, do not yet receive cash-based food assistance.
Extremely poor Lebanese were reached through a partner’s assistance to the National Poverty Targeting Programme (NPTP), with almost USD 4.9 million disbursed directly to beneficiaries.

Women represents slightly more than half of the total of beneficiaries (53,093). The in-kind modality, in line with 2020 results, continues to benefit vulnerable Lebanese with 60,115 people reached with one-offs assistance in Q1. 27,260 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) continued to receive monthly cash-based food assistance (of which 52% were women), while 1,200 benefited from in-kind food parcels, on a one-offs or short-term basis, and 1,473 from food vouchers.4 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon (PRL) were assisted through one-offs or short term in-kind food assistance, benefitting 7,800 individuals.

Interventions to support agriculture activities were negatively impacted by the extended lockdowns needed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, some results were achieved in terms of support to 1,000 vulnerable small-scale farmers through cash and vouchers schemes. In total, USD 200,000 were disbursed to farmers to facilitate their access to otherwise unaffordable agriculture inputs, and support to agriculture cooperatives allowed 529 of their members to receive business plan preparation trainings and nutrition sessions.

In Q1, 2,453 displaced Syrians and 2,641 vulnerable Lebanese benefited from food assistance and temporary employment related to building, maintaining and rehabilitating agriculture assets and infrastructure. Further, some 2,055 vulnerable Lebanese (of which 66% were women) and 482 displaced Syrians attended technical or vocational trainings to build skills in a wide arrange of areas, but mainly in agriculture livelihoods, and received conditional food assistance transfers.