BEIRUT, Lebanon, 31 January 2019 – Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, together with UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Philippe Lazzarini and caretaker Minister of Social Affairs Pierre Bou Assi, today launched the 2019 update of the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (2017-2020) at the Grand Serail in Beirut.

As the Syria crisis enters its ninth year, the Government of Lebanon and its national and international partners today appealed for US$ 2.62 billion to deliver critical humanitarian assistance and invest in Lebanon’s public infrastructure, services and local economy amid deepening vulnerabilities.

The crisis response plan brings together more than 133 specialized partners to assist 3.2 million people in need living in Lebanon. It aims at supporting 1.5 million vulnerable Lebanese, 1.5 million Syrian refugees, and more than 208,000 Palestinian refugees. The government of Lebanon, together with UN agencies and local and international NGOs, are working to provide protection and lifesaving assistance to families, while supporting the delivery of public services all over Lebanon.

“As the economic situation becomes more and more challenging, more than ever, international solidarity needs to match the hospitality of Lebanon as host country. It is our duty to share the responsibility and provide all the help and support needed”, said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Philippe Lazzarini.

The US$6.7 billion assistance provided through the Lebanon Response Plan since 2013 has shown tangible results for Syrian refugees, this year preventing a deepening of economic vulnerability. For the first time since the beginning of the crisis, the number of people living under poverty line has decreased, to be now slightly below 70 percent. Also in 2018, 68 percent of children between 6-14 years are enrolled in school, compared to 52 percent in 2016. Of the 54 percent of refugees who needed primary health care, 87 percent were able to receive it and 85 percent Syrian refugees now have access to basic drinking water.

Minister of Social Affairs Pierre Bou Assi said: “I hope that this will be the last year we launch a Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, I wish for all refugees to return to their land and country, their work and schools.” He added: “the Lebanese state should be part of any project or action and that the money allocated for Lebanese is not enough we aim to reach a value of US $100 million per year to have a direct and sustainable impact on the lives of citizens.”

Despite these improvements, the situation of refugees and vulnerable Lebanese remains precarious, and continued support is essential. Poverty levels remain worrying, with nearly 90 percent of refugee families now indebted. Child labour continues to be an issue among Syrian refugee children; 7.4 percent of refugee children between 12 and 14, and 16.4 percent of refugee children between 15 and 17, are engaged in child labour. Vulnerable Lebanese households also face a decrease in income, which has left them increasingly unable to meet basic needs, including food and healthcare.

The Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2017-2020 is the main tool aiming at responding to the most urgent needs in Lebanon. As well as providing protection and assistance to the most vulnerable – including Syrian displaced, Palestinian refugees, and Lebanese – it also plays a key role in supporting Lebanon’s public services and reinforcing the country’s stability.

For more information please contact:

UNHCR: Lisa Abou Khaled – Email: aboukhal@unhcr.org – Phone number: 71 800 070

UNDP: Mona El Yassir – Email: mona.el-yassir@undp.org – Phone number: 01 962 511

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