Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2023 – Lebanon | Daily News Byte

Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2023 – Lebanon

 | Daily News Byte




IOM aims to support and protect the most vulnerable individuals across Lebanon, including migrants, refugees and local community members, from the growing humanitarian needs and socioeconomic hardships caused by a multitude of increasing crises. To address mobility dynamics in a multifaceted crisis, IOM will provide life-saving support, build economic and community resilience to job loss and rising tensions, and seek to prevent and discourage insecure and irregular migration.


The humanitarian situation in Lebanon continues to deteriorate, causing increasing poverty and despair. The economic collapse is among the worst on a global scale in modern times. This has caused severe inflation and unemployment, putting basic living expenses beyond the reach of thousands of people and resulting in acute humanitarian needs. More than half of the Lebanese population probably lives below the poverty line (World Bank, 2022). Lebanon has one of the world’s highest per capita numbers of refugees and currently hosts around 1.5 million Syrians. Refugees are significantly affected by the sudden increase in poverty; they have limited access to food, education, health care and other basic services. It is estimated that in 2021, 90 percent of Syrian refugee households live in extreme poverty. While equivalent figures for 2022 have yet to be released, this figure is likely to remain high.

The state’s bankruptcy has weakened public services, especially the supply of electricity, thereby jeopardizing life-saving health care. Essential medicines for the treatment of chronic diseases, as well as antibiotics, are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. A quarter of Lebanese, Palestinian and migrant households do not have access to adequate health services (REACH, 2022). The Russian-Ukrainian war has disrupted grain supplies and threatened food security, and the price of bread has risen; 57 percent of Lebanese households struggle to afford food (WFP, 2022). Fuel shortages are disrupting water supplies and critical water pumps are not operating due to lack of fuel production, leading to increased reliance on dubious water sources, especially in vulnerable communities such as informal tented settlements. This was a contributing factor to the cholera outbreak that hit Lebanon in October 2022. The outbreak shows the impact a failing infrastructure can have, putting an already strained health system, operating at limited capacity, under greater pressure. This is exacerbated by a combination of environmental mismanagement and climate change, which is causing water shortages, increasing forest fire rates and environmental degradation. These problems reflect weak infrastructure, lack of preparedness and high exposure to catastrophic events, an increasing concern in the context of climate change. Despite its middle-income status, Lebanon is ranked 117th out of 182 countries worldwide on the 2022 ND-GAIN Climate Vulnerability Index.

Moreover, political uncertainty is high. Lebanon is without a functioning government and is stuck in a presidential vacuum. Political instability increased tension between groups, resulting in local conflicts. Economic and state decay are destabilizing the country’s delicate political balance.

Deteriorating conditions are affecting mobility trends with an increase in irregular departures of ships trying to reach Europe. An estimated 4,211 Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian refugees attempted the journey between January and October 2022, which has already almost tripled compared to last year’s number.[1] This trend is particularly alarming given how dangerous these crossings can be. So far, there have been two tragic sinkings in 2022 alone, with over 140 migrants drowning or missing. (Al Jazeera, 2022; L’Orient Today, 2022)

It is estimated that over 135,000 migrants live in Lebanon, including 80 different nationalities (IOM, 2022). Migrants are severely affected by deteriorating economic conditions, with high rates of unemployment, food and shelter insecurity, and poor access to basic services such as drinking water and health care, including mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) (OCHA, 2022). A growing number are stuck and unable to return to their country of origin, meet their basic needs or support their families back home; The Multi-Sectoral Needs Assessment 2022 (MSNA) indicates that 60 percent of migrants in Lebanon are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 2022). Due to the sponsorship system (kafala), many have to choose between accepting exploitative working conditions and stealing wages from their employer or falling into irregular status, limiting access to help and exponentially increasing the risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, exploitative working conditions, detention and deportation (Amnesty International). Protection concerns that already existed in the crisis, such as discrimination, sexual harassment and violence against migrants, especially female domestic workers, have further increased (IMS Policy and Working Paper Series, 2022). 60 percent of migrants currently in Lebanon need humanitarian and protection assistance (an increase of 31 percent compared to last year), potentially as many as a quarter are seeking help to return home. Although the needs of migrants are equal to, and in some areas more severe than other population groups, only nine percent of migrants have received humanitarian aid in the last 12 months and funding for specialized migrant assistance is urgently needed to ensure they are not left behind. (REACH & IOM, 2022)


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