The deterioration of the context in Lebanon due to multiple crises became even more pronounced in the second half of 2020. First, with the unstable political situation in the country and the delay in forming a new government, followed by the alarming increase in the inflation rate from 112% in July to 136% in October 2020(1), which had a severe impact on increasing the overall poverty rate in the country from 28 to 55 percent at end of 2020. In addition to increasing in the extreme (food) poverty rate among the Lebanese communities from 8 to 23 percent(2), and which increased the vulnerability and the need of the host community, Syrian refugees in Lebanon faced a grave increase in the proportion of households living under the extreme poverty line, reaching 89 percent in 2020(3). Second, with the Beirut Blast that caused 207 deaths, 7,500 injuries, and 15 billion US dollars in property damage, evidence-based reports estimate that around 300,000 people were affected, including 100,000 children who had their homes destroyed or completely damaged and leaving many homeless through temporary or permanent displacement(4). The Beirut Blast incident played a major role in revealing the hidden vulnerabilities, especially among the Lebanese community who reside in urban settings, and the need to provide a MHPSS response at a greater scale. Last and with the second wave of the COVID19 pandemic that caused a new peak of cases reaching 300,000 cases in January 2021 and 3080 deaths, the Lebanese government launched a full lockdown and further exacerbating the existing economic vulnerabilities and drastically escalating the security and protection situation in country affecting both refugee and host community.
This complex crisis had an even higher impact on women and children who became at further risk of violence within the household (intimate partner violence and violence against children). Overall, the RTM also revealed constant increase in exploitation, and which is mostly linked to child labour including its wort forms along with the deterioration of work conditions (with longer working hours and lower pays). The most common types of work reported were repair work, working as helper in stores, working in streets and in agriculture. These increase in trends as reported by CP partners are also captured in PRT monitoring as one of the increasing negative coping mechanisms adopted by families who had their livelihood severely affected by their current financial crisis.
Overall and although the sector was able to advance fully on service provision (remotely or face-to-face) in the second half of the year, the confinement and the COVID-19 pandemic still impacted outreach capacity and provision of services at optimal level especially as needs of families and children increased exponentially given the deteriorating situation.