Lebanon Arsal Population Movement - MDRLB007 - DREF Review

Outstanding findings

As a highlight, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement coordination that took place is a case of best practice, where the different actors coordinate to map capacities and the different support that they can provide, and a joint decision is made to cover the remaining gaps through a DREF request.

Background

Situation

The Higher Defence Council announced in mid-April that informal settlements built by Syrian refugees with material other than timber and plastic sheeting must be dismantled before June 9, 2019. Following the announcement, a decision was taken by the Arsal Municipality in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to enforce the announcement made by the Higher Defence Council. Arsal is a remote town in the Bekaa Valley in Northern Lebanon, that has embraced and welcomed the largest number of Syrian refugees regardless of the negative effects the displacement has had on all the aspects of the town. This decision by the Higher Defence Council will have an impact on around 4,000 households who live in informal tent settlements (ITS) built with material other than timber and plastic in Arsal (Rose1, 2019).

The planned demolitions started June 9, 2019 and involved around 4,000 Syrian households and see as many as 15,000 children face homelessness, severely impacting their mental and physical wellbeing.

Eight years into the crisis, the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are facing more difficulties in meeting their basic survival needs, in part due to the decline of international support. This support included providing food and non-food items, WASH, Cash, Health, Shelter and Winterization services to people in need. According to the Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees (VaSYR) 20171 , 58% of households are living in extreme poverty, while 76% of total refugee households are living below the poverty line and thus spending less than $4 per day. According to the VaSYR 2017, released by the UN Refugee Agency, the reasons aforementioned have resulted in some people to incorporate negative coping strategies in order to provide for their families. With such living conditions and Lebanon’s weak infrastructure and public services, the chances of Syrian and Lebanese communities meeting their social, economic, and medical needs continue to diminish.