Rapid Socio-Economic Assessment in the Neighborhoods Affected by the Blast
Nov 16, 2020
The “Rapid Socio-Economic Assessment of the Areas Affected by the Beirut Port Explosion” looks to examine the adverse impact of the Beirut Port explosion. Going beyond the physical destruction, the report sheds light on how the explosion affected the wellbeing and daily lives of the people living in the affected neighbourhoods and how their socio-economic conditions are fast deteriorating as a result of the explosion that came as at the heel of a deep economic downturn.
Through semi-structured interviews across a spectrum of affected households, businesses, workers and key informants, the report explores how people have borne the brunt of the explosion, facing life losses, injuries, job losses, psychological trauma, temporary displacement, and even permanent homelessness. It demonstrates how this is especially true for the most vulnerable of society, including the elderly, refugees, migrant workers, informal sector workers not covered by any social insurance or unemployment benefit systems. All these were already struggling to cope and weather the impact of the ongoing economic crisis. Businesses are facing severe financial losses, leading to further layoffs and shutdowns. All of this has only contributed to further exacerbate poverty and inequality in an already ailing country.
But facing all this adversity, and with a backdrop of pervasive distrust of the State by its people, the assessment emphasizes a people-centered and participatory recovery approach. The report introduces a framework that would be inclusive, neighborhood-centered, and able to fully address people’s diverse needs, especially the most vulnerable. It paints the way forward, as spelled out by the people and drawing on their priorities and needs, beyond the short-term and towards a long-term and sustainable recovery including building a responsive social protection system that provides the necessary safeguards in the face of crises and shocks.