At a time when resources for refugees from Syria is declining, the top United Nations humanitarian official in Lebanon, the country host to some 1.5 million Syrian and several thousand Palestinian refugees, has launched a funding allocation to ensure that critical relief programmes can be sustained.
“Preserving the stability of Lebanon means preserving tolerance, diversity and stability in the region,” said Philippe Lazzariniat, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon, warning that the needs of the affected communities are fast outpacing the resources and capacities.
“More than ever, international solidarity needs to match the hospitality of Lebanon as host country. No country in the world can – or should – carry alone the challenge that Lebanon is facing. Responsibility-sharing is key.”
Launched Monday, the $6.5 million Standard Allocation, will fund support programmes for Palestinian refugees from Syria, persons with specific needs, and sexual and gender-based violence survivors (the three most vulnerable groups).
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the call for proposals under the Allocation will remain open until 6 April. Most of the funds through the Standard Allocation process will be used for priority projects in line with the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan.
In addition to the Crisis Response Plan, the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund has allocated over $40 million to support the humanitarian response in Lebanon since 2014, filling in with vital funds to sustain support for more than 850,000 individuals, including Syrian and Palestinian Refugees, as well as vulnerable Lebanese – 55 per cent of whom are women and girls.
However, lack of funding remains a major challenge and overall funding for the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan have fallen for three consecutive years.
In 2017, of the $2.75 billion needed, only 43 per cent was received. In 2016 and 2015, funding level stood at 46 and 54 per cent, respectively.