The ongoing war in Syria has taken its toll on Lebanon’s peace and stability. Since the beginning of the crisis the country has become home to over 1.5 million refugees— the vast majority of whom live in poverty and struggle to meet their survival needs. Over the past year, as pressure on basic services has mounted and economic opportunities dwindled, the displaced have increasingly turned to negative coping strategies. At the same time, attitudes among Lebanese host communities have hardened. In an effort to address the worsening situation and prevent tensions from spilling over, the 2017–2020 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP) presents a collective vision to provide for the country’s social, economic, and environmental stability. This plan moves beyond direct humanitarian assistance to develop resilient public institutions that will protect, assist, and deliver services to over 2.2 million vulnerable people. As a UN co-lead of the LCRP, UNDP is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the plan contribute to Lebanon’s long-term stability. To this end, UNDP runs the Stabilization and Recovery Programme (SRP), which:
- Enhances the stability and resilience of vulnerable communities
- Assists key public institutions to develop their capacities for crisis management
- Coordinates stabilization and recovery activities throughout Lebanon
With more than USD $50 million delivered under the LCRP in 2016 alone, UNDP is at the forefront of efforts to support public institutions and host communities in Lebanon. Since 2013 its flagship initiative, the Lebanon Host Communities Support Programme (LHSP), has completed more than 460 projects in 120 localities, delivering services, improving livelihoods, and working with communities to build a more stable future. The Government of Lebanon recognizes these achievements and has requested that the LHSP serve as a main vehicle for donor assistance. In particular, the government has asked the LHSP to continue supporting livelihoods and local economic recovery. UNDP has also undertaken vital work to help build the capacity of Lebanese institutions, focusing on crisis management and rule of law. Over the past year, UNDP has taken crucial steps to train and equip municipal police, strengthen the judiciary, and promote a culture of human rights. To further this important mission, UNDP Lebanon requests $136 million for the coming year. With enough donor support, the SRP will be able to assist the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon and help steer the country towards a more prosperous future.