Where one in five people is a refugee

from UN Development Programme
Published on 15 Mar 2016 View Original

Supporting host communities in Lebanon

In the five years since the Syria conflict erupted, more than 4 million people have fled the country. Over 1 million of these refugees are now in Lebanon, a country of only 4.5 million people.

With a 20% increase in population, and no matching increase in infrastructure and other resources, host communities are struggling to cope. The influx of refugees means more families in need of housing and services, but also an increase in job seekers, children in need of education, etc. Everyone in the country is impacted by these challenges.

In response to the Syria crisis, UNDP works to strengthen Lebanese host communities so they can better support the Syrian refugees. Part of this strategy involves working with local cooperatives, particularly in the North, Bekaa and South governorates where many refugees are located.

Most of UNDP’s support comes at the operational level, helping local governments expand access to currently over-stretched social services. The Lebanon Host Communities Project also aims to increase employment and livelihood opportunities for vulnerable communities. Another important aspect of UNDP’s work is helping to improve relations between local and refugee populations in order to promote peace and social cohesion.

UNDP is also working in 45 Palestinian gatherings to provide better access to clean water, waste management, roads and electricity networks. So far the work of UNDP Lebanon in response to the Syria crisis has supported 110 municipalities and reached more than 1.4 million people, approximately three-quarters of them Lebanese and the rest refugees from Syria.

This kind of support for stabilization is tightly integrated into UNDP’s overall work in Lebanon. Since 2010, UNDP has focused on building stronger institutions, improving governance, addressing regional disparities, environmental sustainability as well as conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

Working in partnership with the Government, UNDP is committed to assisting Lebanon and its host communities to find more sustainable solutions that strengthen the resilience of the country, host communities and refugees.