The 370 million USD that has been committed today by international donors to Lebanon is welcome, but is not sufficient to ensure that all communities in Lebanon survive the current crisis, a group of 5 INGOs in Lebanon have said today.
CARE, NRC, Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision have also said that it is crucial that the money committed for Lebanon’s recovery and relief be transparently distributed and managed, and serves all nationalities, across all areas in Lebanon. This is imperative to ensure the survival and protection of communities in Lebanon as living conditions deteriorate rapidly.
The group of aid agencies reiterated that more support is needed to ensure that communities can survive and recover from the economic crisis, exacerbated by the Beirut blast one year ago, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The currency in Lebanon has lost almost 100% of its value and the economy is in one of the fastest freefalls in recent history. Basic services are failing across all areas of public life, including access to healthcare, education, and protection services.
Today, basic resources are scarce in the country, with shortages in gas and medications, and rampant inflation that has caused essential food items to double and triple in price. The crisis has rendered Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, migrant workers, and refugees from other nationalities economically vulnerable, with 77% of Lebanese households unable to put enough food on the table and 99% of Syrian households living in extreme poverty.
Lebanon is facing a humanitarian crisis affecting the majority of the population, and we welcome the recognition of this by donor countries in their pledges today. We must look for a long-term solution in addition to the temporary and welcome support of humanitarian funds. A government must be formed in Lebanon as soon as possible and reforms must be made to ensure good governance and strengthened public services, including inclusive protection policies, increased transparency, and a focus on economic development and social protection. Money alone will not resolve the increasing and urgent humanitarian needs in what is now a complex humanitarian emergency in Lebanon.