This report is the result of an assessment undertaken by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) from March 28. to June 27, 2005 in Lebanon. The assessment was supported financially by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO).
The assessment assessed humanitarian and protection needs of Palestinian refugees living in gatherings (non-UNRWA camps) in Lebanon. 56 potential gatherings were visited during the mission, and 17 of these were assessed to fall outside the set criteria, leaving 39 gatherings for further studies.
39 gatherings were assessed in-depth by use of key informant interviews; existing studies, if available; and direct observations. Detailed fact sheets for all assessed gatherings forming the basis of the needs assessment are included in Annex A of the report. For each of the sectors assessed, a description of the general situation in the gatherings is provided together with registered needs and recommendations for future interventions.
Inhabitants in the gatherings identified the right to work and to own property as their main needs. If these basis needs were met, they would be able to fulfil most of their other needs and improve their livelihood. There is no doubt that these restrictions are a major hindrance to improvements in the living situation of Palestinian refugees in gatherings in Lebanon.
It was found that some gatherings had more extensive needs than others, most visually regarding rehabilitation of houses or improvement of infrastructure such as water supply facilities, sewerage network, and garbage collection. There were however also distinct differences among gatherings in the fields of health, education, social services and recreational opportunities for mainly children and youth.
Main specific needs in gatherings were rehabilitation of houses or infrastructure such as water, sanitation and garbage collection. Rehabilitation of houses is, however, an activity that in many locations will prove difficult because the houses are located on public land with the authorities restricting the rehabilitation. All interventions should secure authority approval before launching any major activities!
It should be noted that almost all gatherings have vulnerable groups with special needs. These include elderly, people with disabilities and non-ID refugees. Some gatherings also need infrastructure improvement for only part of the community (e.i. the 15 simple houses on public land in Al Marj)
A number of specific recommendations are put forward in the report. In order to provide an overview of these, they are listed below by sector. The relevant chapters are included in parenthesis.
Shelter (Chapter 7)
1) Advocacy for the right to own land under the same conditions as Lebanese citizens
2) Improvement of a limited number of houses in very poor condition
3) Rehabilitation assistance to gatherings with special needs
Water supply, sanitation, and garbage disposal (Chapter 8)
Water supply facilities
1) Installation of household water connections: Improvement of water quality
2) Reduction of local pollution 3) Reduction of non-local pollution 4) Disinfection 5) Removal of hardness
6) Ground water and water quality monitoring Improvement of sewerage
7) Rehabilitation or construction of sewerage network Garbage disposal
8) Use of closed garbage containers
9) Establishment of garbage disposal systems 10) Hygiene campaigns
Health (Chapter 9)
1) Expansion of services
2) Provision of psychological assistance
3) Provision of emergency/first aid
4) Investigation of congenital malformation
5) Hygiene campaigns
Education (Chapter 10)
1) Assistance to access schools
2) Provision of tutorial and related assistance to students/youth
3) Provision of mobile libraries
4) Replacement of corrugated iron roofing on schools
Occupation and Household Income (Chapter 11)
1) Advocacy for the right to work under the same conditions as Lebanese citizens
2) Initiation of flexible and practical oriented vocational training in gatherings
3) Support to income generating activities
Food and Non-Food items (Chapter 12)
1) Targeted non-food item distribution
Women related issues (Chapter 13)
1) Establishment of women's groups
2) Establishment of kindergartens, after-school-centres, and women centres
4) Support to income generating activities especially for women
5) Support to small gathering-based day activity centres
Child and youth issues (Chapter 14)
1) Support to sports and/or cultural facilities
2) Establishment of exchange groups
3) Psychological assistance
Vulnerable groups (Chapter 15)
1) Establishment of mobile support units
2) Extension of existing centres
3) Adaptation of houses and facilities
For all interventions, it is important to involve host communities / the local village and local authorities as much as possible. This would promote further future cooperation between the Lebanese and Palestinian population groups and will facilitate project implementation. Involvement of beneficiaries and their organisations is also vital to project implementation.
In order to provide executives with a more comprehensive summary of identified needs, the following pages will provide more detailed findings in relation to specific gatherings.