Lebanon

Lebanon: Election Preparedness - Operation Update Report n° 1, DREF n° MDRLB011

Attachments

Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:

  • Additional support was allocated to volunteer mobilization through cost savings in health consumables.

  • Ongoing operational costs are related to continued mobilization for readiness to respond during the period of government formation.

A. SITUATION ANALYSIS

Description of the disaster

Lebanon held its first general elections since 2018 in May 2022. These elections took place against the backdrop of a severe complex humanitarian crisis and periods of civil unrest surrounding governance issues. Since 2011, Lebanon has hosted the largest number of refugees per capita, in addition to hosting a substantial number of Palestinian refugees. Since the end of 2019, Lebanon has witnessed civil unrest, economic instability, currency devaluation, a pandemic, and a massive explosion in the heart of its capital. Since September 2019, Lebanon’s socioeconomic collapse has spiraled into one of the top three most severe economic crises the world has seen since the 1850s, according to the World Bank. Over 80% of people in Lebanon are living in multidimensional poverty. In August 2020, a double explosion at the port of Beirut took over 200 lives, left over 6,000 people with physical injuries and displaced over 300,000 people.

Elections took place as scheduled on 15 May 2022. While voting passed mostly peacefully, a number of disputes and violent incidents took place including a reported clash between supporters of different political parties. Tracking of violent events by ACLED1 shows a steady increase in the leadup to 2022 elections, and a peak which exceeded 2018 elections and a prior spike in August 2021 coinciding with fuel shortages.

Since the announcement of the results, several people including at least four children were injured by celebratory gunfire. There have been protests related to the conduct and results of elections, as well as in connection to the ongoing economic crisis. Lebanon’s currency lost value after the elections, selling from around 27,000 lira to the dollar on the parallel market on 15 May to a low of nearly 37,000 lira to the dollar on 27 May before climbing again to the pre-election rate.