2018 IN REVIEW
This Annual Report presents information on the achievements of the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund during the 2018 calendar year. However, because grant allocation, project implementation and reporting processes often take place over multiple years (CBPFs are designed to support ongoing and evolving humanitarian responses), the achievement of CBPFs are reported in two distinct ways:
Information on allocations for granted in 2018 (shown in blue). This method considers intended impact of the allocations rather than achieved results as project implementation and reporting often continues into the subsequent year and results information is not immediately available at the time of publication of annual reports.
Results reported in 2018 attributed to allocations granted in 2018 and prior years (shown in orange). This method provides a more complete picture of achievements during a given calendar year but includes results from allocations that were granted in previous years. This data is extracted from final narrative reports approved between 1 January 2018 – 31 January 2019.
Figures for people targeted and reached may include limited occurrences of double counting as individuals sometime receive aid from multiple projects/sectors.
Contribution recorded based on the exchange rate when the cash was received which may differ from the Certified Statement of Accounts that records contributions based on the exchange rate at the time of the pledge.
Humanitarian situation in 2018
Eight years into the Syrian crisis, Lebanon remains at the forefront of one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time and has shown exceptional commitment and solidarity to people displaced by the conflict in Syria. The Government of Lebanon (GoL) estimates that the country hosts 1.5 million Syrians who have fled the conflict in Syria (including 950,334 registered as refugees with UNHCR, along with 28,800 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) and a preexisting population of an estimated 180,000 Palestinian refugees from Lebanon (PRL) living in 12 camps and 156 gatherings. The vulnerabilities of each of these groups have different root causes, requiring the overall response strategy to include a multifaceted range of interventions, from emergency aid to development assistance. Nearly half of the Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian populations affected by the crisis are children and adolescents. Up to 1.4 million children under 18 years of age are currently growing up at risk, deprived, and with acute needs for basic services and protection. Public services are overstretched, with demand exceeding the capacity of institutions and infrastructure to meet needs.
Deepening socio-economic disparities
Since the start of the crisis, the affected populations in Lebanon have experienced a gradual shrinking of space for livelihoods and income-generation, translating into the inability of poor and displaced families to secure their basic needs and access social services. Unemployment is particularly high in some of the country’s poorest localities: in some areas, it is nearly double the national average, placing considerable strain on host communities. Both Lebanese and displaced Syrians perceive that longstanding inequalities are deepening, and competition for jobs and access to resources and services remain drivers of tension at the local level. The economic downturn has had a disproportionate effect on young people entering the workforce: Lebanon’s youth unemployment rate is 37 per cent, compared with a 25 per cent national average.
High poverty levels
The Syrian crisis has had a significant impact on the social and economic growth in Lebanon and causing high poverty levels. At present, 28 per cent of the Lebanese population, and more than 69 per cent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon live below the poverty line, along with 65 per cent among PRL and 89 per cent of PRS.
The long-term resilience of Lebanon’s vulnerable communities is eroding as they run out of savings and struggle to access income. Livelihood coping strategies are widespread, although there has been a general tendency in 2018 to adopt less severe coping strategies. As a result, households are sinking deeper into debt. The debt of many households, especially among refugees, is related to funds used for food.
Food insecurity The food security situation remains very critical with 90 per cent of displaced Syrians in Lebanon showed some degree of food insecurity in 2018 and 35 per cent of Palestinian refugees from Syria are severely food insecure. In addition, 49 per cent of Lebanese have reported being worried about their ability to source enough food.
Substandard shelter conditions
The increased pressure on the housing market and continued decrease in available funds to the sector means that the most vulnerable Lebanese and Syrians have limited access to affordable and adequate shelter. In 2018, there has been a marked deterioration in shelter conditions amongst displaced Syrian households where 34 per cent of households now live in non-residential or non-permanent structures as compared with 26 per cent in 2017. 36 per cent of displaced Syrians live in substandard or dangerous shelter conditions. Overcrowding is also significant and has increased slightly in 2018. Additionally, the shelter conditions are declining in the densely populated low-income inner-city neighborhoods where adequate shelters are in short supply for the affected populations.
Lack of access to health care
Since the onset of the crisis, Lebanon’s healthcare facilities have been overstretched by an increase in utilization. In 2018, 13 per cent of displaced Syrian households who required primary healthcare services were not able to access them, mainly for reasons related to treatment costs and doctors’ fees.
It is estimated that 40 per cent of the displaced Syrians children aged between three and 18 years old – more than 250,000 – remain out of certified education (formal and non-formal). Social, economic and academic barriers have hindered enrolment of children and youth in the public education system. As desperate families are forced to rely on their children to earn money, child labor becomes a major barrier to school enrolment and attendance.
Already in 2014, it was estimated that the additional population pressure had led to an increase of 15 per cent of solid waste, 14 per cent of wastewater and 12 per cent in water demand aggravating an already fragile situation. Water quality is severely compromised, and 64 per cent of the population in Lebanon does not have access to safely managed drinking water services. For those living in informal settlements the situation is more precarious, where only 44% have access to basic sanitation services. In these living conditions, poor hygiene practices, particularly in relation to handling food and water, aggravate the risk of disease.
The situation among vulnerable population groups in Lebanon has also translated into an increase in the levels of violence against children and women. There is continued reliance on harmful practices such as child marriage, with 22 per cent of displaced Syrian girls aged 15 to 19 being married.
In addition, there is a risk of engagement of children in the worst forms of child labour, as there is an increased risk of traffickers preying on the heightened vulnerability of populations. Early marriage and child labour have a significant impact on children’s health and psychological wellbeing
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.