Lebanon is going through a serious economic, social, political and health crisis, with the presence of numerous armed groups and the spillover of the Syrian conflict. In addition to the Covid-19 pandemic and the ammonium nitrate explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, the country is experiencing unprecedented inflation, resource shortages, and a collapse of public services. The financial crisis that has hit Lebanon since October 2019 has led to a significant increase in prices and pushed 80% of the population to live below the poverty line. Out of a total population of 6.8 million in Lebanon, UNHCR estimates the number of Syrian refugees at 1.5 million and 13,715 of other nationalities, who are among the most affected by the crises. In the country, some 2.2 million Lebanese, 208,000 Palestinian refugees and 78,000 migrants are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the European Commission. At the same time, 89% of Syrian refugees live in extreme poverty.
Description of the mission
Première Urgence Internationale is developing an integrated approach in Lebanon with Syrian and Palestinian refugees and the host population. The integrated approach is an innovative operational approach developed by Première Urgence Internationale. It aims to identify and understand all the needs of people affected by a crisis. It allows us to take into account all the dimensions of a problem, in order to propose a combination of efficient and effective solutions that will have a strong and lasting impact on the population.
The mission also assists Palestinian refugees from Syria. This intervention aims to reduce tensions between communities and to provide assistance to vulnerable local populations affected by the massive influx of refugees.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
Première Urgence Internationale is currently implementing a wide range of activities in an integrated approach, related to health, protection, shelter and livelihoods. Première Urgence Internationale’s health action aims to contribute to reducing economic barriers and restoring access to primary health care to all vulnerable inhabitants in the governorates of Akkar, North, Beirut, Mount Lebanon, South and Nabatieh. This access to care is secured through the implementation of a single flat fee model. Our actions pay specific attention to social cohesion between the host and displaced populations in the country, as well as to people with disabilities.
In addition, Première Urgence Internationale addresses protection issues by providing refugee populations and other vulnerable people in Lebanon with meaningful access to health services and by improving the well-being of people receiving mental health and psychosocial support services, or by making referrals to specialized partners.
In order to address the vulnerabilities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are adapting our activities. Activities related to shelter rehabilitation are also carried out and emergency monetary assistance is deployed to help the most vulnerable households pay their rent and thus avoid evictions.
Supporting the resilience of vulnerable agricultural producers and households in northern Lebanon
Lebanon is facing a multidimensional crisis directly impacting farmers and local producers. Farmers became heavily indebted as they were usually able to repay their debts during the harvest period (May-October) to secure credit for the following planting/production season. In 2020 their ability to repay these debts has been reduced to the minimum, making it impossible to start the new cropping cycle due to the lack of available capital. With the absence/lack of national agricultural support programs, the agricultural sector has moved to a low input system, which is likely to result in lower yields and lower marketable production.
1 year after Beirut blast, the overall humanitarian situation in the country remains worrying
Beirut blast occurred on 4 August 2020 devastated an entire section of the city, killing over 200 people. 350,000 people were left homeless, 7,000 were injured. Three hospitals were substantially damaged, several medicine warehouses, grain silos, and other stocks of essential goods were destroyed.