Lebanon Host Communities Support Project (LHSP)
The process of local development had to face the impact of the Syrian, which reached an unprecedented scale. This number is expected to reach 1.2 million during 2014*. The crisis is not only challenging the country’s existing social and economic infrastructure, it is exacerbating significant development deficiencies such as unemployment, especially among women and youth, and profound disparities between the wealthy and the poor.
Even before the Syrian crisis, some regions of Lebanon namely in the North and the Bekaa were among the poorest and most underserved. Social services, infrastructure and livelihood opportunities were inadequate.
Since the beginning of the Syrian influx to Lebanon in March 2011, most of the refugees have been accommodated and supported by the host communities. The Lebanese communities have been hosting and supporting the Syrian refugees far beyond any other country in the region. Yet this long lasting refugee’s situation is likely to exhaust the hosting capacities of local populations that have been playing a key role in the response to the refugees so far. The living conditions in host communities that were already suffering poverty are further deteriorating. This whole situation is likely to further increase tensions at the local level between hosting communities and Syrian refugee especially due to the enormous pressure which is put on basic services, namely water, sanitation, education and healthcare systems.
UNDP responding to the multiple dimension of the crisis launched an overall strategic and programmatic plan consisting of the Stabilization and recovery program with three main goals.
- Fostering the Resilience of Vulnerable Host Communities
- Promoting Peace Building and Conflict Prevention
- Improving Living Conditions in Palestinian Gatherings in Lebanon
The LSRP will enable host communities to improve their capacity by addressing the immediate needs, while also building blocks for medium and long term recovery and development. This is implemented through a participatory approach with established local and regional working groups including local stakeholders, municipalities, union of municipalities, civil society, private sector and other.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) launched in 2013 the "Lebanese Host Communities Support Project" (LHSP) as a comprehensive, coordinated and durable response towards the Syrian Refugee Crisis and its implications on the country. The project is developed under a number of guiding principles which drive the activities of UNDP to support the host communities in response to the impact of the Syrian crisis in Lebanon. These include: efficient utilization of funds by targeting the most vulnerable host communities; ensuring stakeholder participation in the affected areas in the identification, implementation and monitoring of interventions in a transparent manner; treating social well-being as both a targeted activity as well as a cross cutting theme; and, developing local capacities to operate and maintain the interventions after completion to ensure sustainability.
The Project seeks to help increase stability in the areas affected by the Syrian crisis through improving livelihood and service provision in a conflict sensitive manner. It aims at contributing to improved community security, economic recovery and social well-being in the affected areas through a community based approach which will increase livelihood options and local level service delivery.
The project will further strengthen the capacity of national and local government and civil society actors for inclusive priority setting and conflict mitigation, dispute resolution, and participatory service delivery as well as enhancing business skills and marketing opportunities in vulnerable areas. The project aims to achieve three main goals:
1. Increase the livelihoods and economic opportunities in affected areas
2. Strengthen the capacity of local and national actors to deliver basic services in a participatory and conflict sensitive manner.
3. Improve the local level dispute resolution and community security.
Achievements and Expected Results:
- Rapid employment schemes incentives implemented and workforce employability supported
- Business Development Initiative and Sustainable Economic revitalization developed through local economic recovery and capacities
- Livelihood National Strategy for Host Communities developed by MoSA/GoL
- Dialogue between local governments and civil society promoted for needs assessment and decision making regarding the improvement of services and livelihood in the targeted areas
- Access to basic services increased for vulnerable populations
- Local mechanisms for solving disputes related to the influx of displaced Syrian at the local level supported and strengthened, as well as existing local community security structures enhanced
- Linkages built between the activities being carried out at the local level and the government response to the Syrian crisis at the national level.
2. Promoting Peace Building and Conflict Prevention
The UNDP “Peace Building in Lebanon” project works since 2007 on enhancing mutual understanding and promoting social cohesion by addressing root causes of conflict in Lebanon. The project has been also lately working on addressing the impact of the Syrian crisis on social stability in Lebanon.
The project supports different groups from local leaders and local actors, to educators, journalists, youth and civil society activists, in developing medium and long-term strategies for peace building, crisis management and conflict prevention.
3- Improving Living Conditions in Palestinian Gatherings Host Communities
Improving Living Conditions in Palestinian Gatherings Host Communities is a project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) that falls under the UNDP Lebanon Stabilization and Recovery Program – Supporting Resilience in a Time of Crisis.
Active in the 42 Palestinian Gatherings across Lebanon since 2012, this project is designed to help stabilize and develop the resilience of these communities, home to 110,000 original Palestinian dwellers (PRL) and some 30,000 Palestinian and Syrian refugees (PRS and SRS) as a result of the Syrian crisis.
So far, tens of thousands of beneficiaries were directly reached by upgrading WASH and basic urban services (BUS), enhancing shelter conditions, making neighborhoods safer and more inclusive, promoting hygiene and environmental practices, empowering women and youth for better livelihoods, and coordinating efforts of NGOs and agencies in Palestinian Gatherings.