As the Syria crisis enters its tenth year, Lebanon continues to host the highest number of refugees per capita worldwide. Since 2014, UNDP has been working hand-in-hand with the Government, donors and key humanitarian and development partners to mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis and to maintain essential support to host communities. The vital importance of sustained cooperation continues to grow, particularly given the exacerbating impact of the multiple crises which have affected Lebanon over the past couple of years, including the unfolding economic crisis, the Beirut port explosion of August 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which have caused a steep rise in poverty, inequality and human vulnerability.
With the sustained support of donors under the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP), UNDP is playing a leading role in delivering holistic and integrated support, with a focus on:
- Enhancing the stability of vulnerable communities: The centerpiece of UNDP’s support of the LCRP is its commitment to host communities. Over the past seven years, UNDP has engaged well over 80% of vulnerable municipalities targeted by the LCRP, providing integrated support to address a holistic range of priorities identified by communities, in particular, increased access to livelihoods; strengthened delivery of basic services, including by introducing environmentally-sound local solutions; community security and access to justice; strengthened local conflict management and participatory local plans of action.
- Supporting national institutions engaged in the response: This component focuses on key public institutions responsible for leading the national crisis response at the strategic and/or sectoral levels. and has centered on support to the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA), Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities (MOIM), Ministry of Environment (MoE), as well as municipal authorities on the frontline of Lebanon’s response to the Syria crisis.
- Coordinating the response to the impact of the Syrian crisis in Lebanon: As one of the UN co-leads for the LCRP, UNDP plays a central role in ensuring that the system-wide response contributes to Lebanon’s long-term stability, including by coordinating social stability and recovery activities across Lebanese host communities and ensuing integration of humanitarian and development action.
With more than $221 million delivered under the LCRP over the last seven years, UNDP and its partners have provided support to build resilience and enhance the stability of host communities throughout Lebanon, benefiting a total of 2,744,996 people, 30% Syrian refugees and 70% Lebanese. Over half of the people benefiting from UNDP’s local level engagement with host communities were women.
During this period, UNDP has reached a total of 225 host municipalities and supported them in the process of developing participatory local development action plans. The process engaged local authorities, civil society and the community including representatives of vulnerable groups in a participatory identification of needs, potential triggers of conflict and insecurity at risk of affecting local stability, and people-oriented, risk-informed solutions.
Find out more here: Mechanisms for stability and local development
- Livelihoods: UNDP-supported livelihoods interventions in host communities have generated incomes and jobs for some 448,016 vulnerable people, approximately 66% Lebanese and 34% displaced Syrians, in the areas of agricultural infrastructure and environmental protection from a value chain perspective, support to cooperatives and MSMEs, as well as through access to vocational training. Almost half of the people benefiting have been women.
- Delivery of basic services: UNDP has strengthened the delivery of vital services in host communities reaching some 2,296,980 people, approximately 70% Lebanese and 30% displaced Syrians, through installation and rehabilitation of water and waste-water management systems, solid waste management facilities, the provision of community spaces, energy solutions, as well as the rehabilitation of health centers. Over half, or 51% of those benefiting were women.
- Community security and access to justice: In partnership with the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, UNDP is engaging more than 200 municipalities across Lebanon in the professionalization of their municipal police and their transformation into a human-rights and people centered service to local communities, including host communities and refugee populations. In parallel, we are pioneering the delivery, through municipalities, of free and comprehensive legal aid services to these communities, as part of a national strategy being developed in partnership with the Minister of Justice, the Bar Associations of Tripoli & Beirut, and UNHCR.
- Strengthened local conflict management and participatory local plans of action: UNDP supports communities to take a participatory and conflict-sensitive approach to creating stability and local development plans under its Mechanisms for Stability and Local Development (MSLD). To date, conflict management and participatory local action planning processes have been carried out in 289 Lebanese host communities, bringing together a total of 26,000 Lebanese and Syrian refugees, including women (68% of participants), local authorities, youth and people with disabilities to collectively analyze tensions and challenges to social stability, identify structural causes and design and implement development solutions in their host communities. To date, a total of 70,351 people have benefited from MSLD-facilitated action plans.
UNDP is committed to scaling up its support to host communities under the LCRP as poverty levels, humanitarian needs and social tensions continue to rise in the face of ongoing crises. In this respect, UNDP will continue to focus on strengthening the capacity of local communities and authorities for inclusive and transparent planning and action to mitigate, manage and transform the drivers of vulnerability and tensions and leave no one behind.