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LCRP: To graduate the Lebanese out of poverty and support the displaced Syrians until their return

Homepage >> News >> LCRP: To graduate the Lebanese out of poverty and support the displaced Syrians until their return

The Minister of Social Affairs and Tourism, Professor Ramzi Al-Moucharafieh stressed that he tried to strengthen the social safety net for the Lebanese through a 3 pillar approach, during his inauguration of a series of round table discussions with the media, and in the presence of representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) at the headquarters of the Ministry of Social Affairs.
He said: “Firstly, we scaled up the number of the households beneficiaries of the “The National Poverty Targeting Program (NPTP) from 15,000 to more than 50 thousand families. Secondly, launched the National Social Solidarity program on April 8, as a part of the social emergency plan to alleviate the economic impact of the Covid-19 among the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon, where cash assistance of 400,000 Lebanese pounds was provided to about 200.000 families. Thirdly, we are negotiating with the World Bank to secure social assistance for 120,000 families”.
The objective of these round table discussions with the media is to highlight what MoSA in cooperation with international organizations with all partners, they have been doing in four areas: Identifying Lebanon’s Crisis Response Plan 2011 priorities, activating the social safety net for the Lebanese and increasing food assistance to the most vulnerable families, continuing the humanitarian response to the displaced Syrians, and activating the plan on the return of displaced persons approved by the Lebanese government”.
For his part, the LCRP General Supervisor, Dr. Asim Abi Ali said: “Given that the poverty rate in Lebanon has reached 60%, and more than 25% of the Lebanese people are below the extreme poverty line, the Ministry worked on different fronts to allocate the limited resources to meet the massive needs, in partnership with international agencies and donor countries, to strengthen the social safety net for the Lebanese, and on top of that building a national strategy for social protection”.
Abi Ali stressed that "the objective is to graduate these Lebanese families out of poverty and build their capacities towards a productive society, with the need to engage more women and youth in achieving sustainable local development, “adding that Minister Moucharafieh presented a proposal to transform the Ministry of Social Affairs into the Ministry of Social Development.
Moreover, MoSA kicked off workshops to discuss and develop the National Social Protection Strategy in cooperation with line ministries, civil society organizations, and UN agencies on June 9, 2020. It was scheduled to be discussed at the Council of Ministries in late August 2020, but due to the Beirut blast and the resignation of the government it was suspended, however, these workshops were resumed and hopefully, a new government would implement this strategy.
Abi Ali pointed out that MoSA is working on the extension of Lebanon Crisis Response Plan LCRP: 2017-2020 until 2021 in partnership with UNHCR, UNDP, donors, and line ministries, taking into consideration the assessment of the most vulnerable groups and the response to be based on the needs, in a way that ensures a balanced approach in providing support to the Lebanese host communities and the displaced Syrians, and complies with the principle of conflict sensitivity, to avoid igniting potential tensions between the Displaced Syrians and Lebanese “.
Abi Ali stressed the importance of continuing humanitarian support for the displaced Syrians to be able to live in dignity until they return to Syria and called for scaling up the support for the host communities, revealing the intention to increase the number of cadasters covered by support from 251 to 318 areas across all Lebanon.
In turn, LCRP Deputy Supervisor Dr. Ola Boutros stressed the importance of "rural development to enhance social and national cohesion, and the need to combat illegal smuggling in line with UN.S.C Resolution 1680 that calls for the extension of the control of the Lebanese government overall its territory” highlighting the need for embedding the development aspect within the security approach at the borders, and thus tensions between the displaced and host communities would be reduced by creating job opportunities in agriculture and industry”.
Boutros endorsed the efforts made by UNHCR in Syria, especially in the rural areas of Hama, Homs, and Aleppo, in terms of rehabilitating schools, bakeries, and livelihoods, which would facilitate the return of the displaced to their country.
She added that MoSA`s priority is to work with the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities and UNHCR to extend the registration of the newly born Syrian kids, to avoid having stateless children and because their possession of these civil documents would facilitate their return to Syria