UNICEF launched an emergency child grant in June. The assistance has reached 100,000 of the most vulnerable children in Lebanon with cash transfers of US$40 for families with one child, up to US$80 for families with three or more children.
Work is nearly three-quarters complete on the UNICEF-supported renovation and rebuilding of Quarantina University Public Hospital, which was heavily damaged in the Beirut port explosions. The new building, to be completed in early 2022, includes units for paediatrics, obstetrics and maternity, surgery and intensive care, and a primary health care centre.
Due to the ongoing risk of the collapse the public water supply, UNICEF is supporting Water Establishments to ensure continued water supply to an average of 1 million people per month.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF appealed for US$68.4 million to respond to the urgent needs of over 1.1 million people, including 340,000 children affected by the deepening economic crises in Lebanon and the Beirut explosion, including its secondary impacts. The 2021 appeal was revised in August 2021, with the total funding requirements reduced from US$94 million to US$68 million. This appeal is in addition to and complements the humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee crisis (the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP) and Regional Refugee and Response Plan (3RP)), which cover the needs of Syrian refugees and affected Lebanese host communities, as well as COVID-19 related needs.
UNICEF requires urgent funding to ensure that no child in Lebanon is left behind. Without sufficient and timely funding,
UNICEF will be unable to support the national response to Lebanon’s continuing crisis, and poor and vulnerable households with children will be left without access to basic services and needs.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Multiple, compounding and protracted crises in 2021 worsened the situation and many challenges faced by children and their families in Lebanon. Lebanon’s financial and economic crisis is arguably one of the top three most severe economic collapses globally since the mid-nineteenth century according to the World Bank. Exacerbated by the impacts of COVID19 and the Beirut Port explosion in August 2020, these crises are devastating the livelihoods and wellbeing of the most vulnerable.
Over 3.5 million Lebanese are estimated to live in poverty and around three-quarters are now income vulnerable. Loss of employment and assets, inflation and the removal of subsidies on fuel, bread and other basic goods have left families struggling to survive. A UNICEF rapid assessment in October 2021 found the situation deteriorated drastically in the preceding six months. More than half of families had at least one child who skipped a meal in September, as compared with close to 37 per cent in April. More than 30 per cent of surveyed families reported cuts on education expenses (up from 26 per cent in April). Almost 34 per cent of children who required primary health care did not receive it and more than 45 per cent of the families had insufficient drinking water at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey, compared with under 20 per cent in April.
Women and children continue to carry the heaviest burden of these crises including an increasing risk on their survival, health, nutrition, education, access to basic infrastructure, socialization and protection.
Lebanon’s already fragile social peace faces ongoing threats, with protests in cities throughout the country disrupting movement and livelihoods, and resulting in six deaths in October. After more than one year of political deadlock, a Government was formed in September 2021. However, little progress has been made and the Cabinet has not met since mid-October.