- KEY FINDINGS
Based on the data review and inputs from the Sector Working Group we can provide the following preliminary conclusions:
The perceptions on priority needs as expressed by members of the sector working groups were in line with the findings of the assessments reviewed. The findings from the data and the MSNA SWG workshop both indicate that the priority needs are as follows; while a significant part of Syrian refugee households indicate that employment is their main source of income, the available employment opportunities are often temporary and refugees are vulnerable to exploitation by employers. Access to decent work opportunities is a priority need, which includes supporting different market sectors to enable expansion of the labour force and identifying alternative markets.
Participantsin the MSNA workshop confirmed the existing barriers to employment, including need for skill training and cultural and domestic obstacles for female participation in the labour market. However, during the workshop it was underlined that any interventions to overcome these barriers should directly relate to a demand from the labour market. In addition, the participants indicated that it is difficult to support and regulate employment, as much is taking place in the informal market.
In general, needs among target groups are similar. However, specifically for Syrian and Palestinian refugees, the need for a clear legal status providing protection from exploitation was highlighted. A specific need for Lebanese host communities is protection from “unfair” competition as a result of exploitation of Syrian employees in terms of low wages and overall working conditions. There is a widespread perception among Lebanese communities that the presence of Syrian refugees is resulting in unfair competition and this is a major source of tensions. As a result, access to income generating opportunities for Lebanese communities is a continued need.
Geographical priorities are determined by underlying vulnerabilities such as poverty and unemployment rates and the proportion of refugees compared the overall population. In addition, the security situation is a main factor affecting access to livelihoods. Border areas, which have been affected most by the disruption of trade due to border closures, were specifically highlighted as a geographical priority.
The available data does not provide an indication on response gaps. However, the SWG highlighted the lack of transition to sustainable programming in general, and the subsequent lack of large-scale livelihood programmes and related advocacy initiatives. In terms of the future, the participants in the MSNA SWG workshop highlighted an increase in tensions and further security incidents as a major factor that could affect livelihoods programming.