UNDP has made supporting the national efforts of the Government of Lebanon to manage the refugee crisis a priority since the onset of the crisis in early 2011, which has seen a country of some 4.5 million people, receive over one million registered refugees from Syria.
UNDP has provided both policy and operational support. At the policy level UNDP has supported the development of the 2015 – 2016 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, leading the Stabilization aspect of the response under the 3RP. Recognising the protracted nature of the Syria crisis, the Government of Lebanon, with support from UNHCR and UNDP as co-leads of the response, is now looking to develop a longer-term response plan for 2017 – 2020.
The great majority of UNDP’s support comes at the operational level by assisting municipalities to expand access to currently over-stretched social services, and to increase livelihood opportunities for vulnerable communities through the Lebanon Host Communities Project. A secondary but also important aspect of UNDP’s work in response to the crisis is that of enhancing relations between local and refugee populations in order to support social peace.
UNDP is also working in 45 Palestinian gatherings to provide better access to clean water, waste management, roads and electricity networks.
Thus far the work of UNDP Lebanon in response to the Syria crisis has supported 110 municipalities and reached over 1.4 million people, approximately three-quarters being Lebanese and the remainder refugees from Syria. This support for stabilization is tightly integrated into UNDP’s overall work in the country, which since 2010 has focused on institutional development and democratic governance, social development and addressing regional disparities, promoting environmental sustainability, and fostering conflict prevention and peacebuilding.
In close partnership with the Government UNDP is committed over the foreseeable future to assist Lebanon and its host communities to find more sustainable solutions that strengthen the resilience of institutions, host communities and refugees.