WeWorld is in Lebanon since 2006, supporting vulnerable populations through multi-sectoral emergency responses as well as water governance, livelihood, and local development interventions in Baalbek-Hermel and Akkar governorates.
Since 2019, Lebanon has been caught in an unending downward spiral of political and economic collapse. In 2022, its country ranking fell from upper-middle income to lower-middle income for the first time in 25 years. The ongoing compounded crises continue to undermine livelihood opportunities, exacerbating vulnerabilities, while further exposing the structural dysfunctions and inequalities of the country’s economic system. Rising unemployment, local currency depreciation, skyrocketing inflation, and removal of subsidies have led to 57% of Lebanese households struggling to afford food, and 90% of Syrian refugees present in the country living in extreme poverty. In 2022, 80% of households had an earner who had lost employment since the crisis started in 2019 (Human Rights Watch). The median household monthly income reported was USD 122, with 40% earning less than USD 100.
National crises have been further amplified by the recent global surge in prices. Moreover, as the symptoms of climate change intensify, Lebanon stands at the forefront of countries hopelessly exposed to the elements, fearing famine.
The areas targeted by WeWorld in Lebanon – the governorates of Akkar, North Lebanon, Baalbek-Hermel and Bekaa – have historically represented the neglected peripheries of the country. With every crisis, their marginalization intensifies; with the Syrian crisis, violence spills over across the border, vulnerable refugees are disproportionately hosted, and trade is disrupted; with the economic crisis remittances drop, public service provision weakens, markets shrink, and black markets and price gouging dominate; with the pandemic, the healthcare sector’s fragility is exposed.
We have been working in Lebanon since 2006, aiming to increase the populations’ resilience, enhancing the communities’ capacity to find, within its fabric, the skills and resources necessary to grow in a self-sufficient manner. WeWorld interventions in Lebanon are needs-based and normally include beneficiaries of all nationalities. Moreover, the programs apply a Nexus approach: ensure consistency and effectiveness throughout the implementation, bridging gaps between humanitarian and development interventions.
The mission counts more than 50 employees, divided into four offices: Beirut, Zahle, Ain and Kobayat. Our work in the country articulates around three main pillars:
- Water Governance
- Livelihoods and Local Economic Development
- Multi-Sectoral Emergency Response
For what concerns Water Governance, the actions have been centered on the strengthening of effective and sustainable use of water resources (potable water and irrigation interventions) and water governance via a three-tiered approach:
- Infrastructural upgrade: rehabilitation and expansion of water production, storage and distribution facilities for improved service delivery;
- Capacity building: provision of staffing, equipment, and trainings to the Water Establishments' local offices, with a special focus on Non-Revenue Water reduction;
- Community engagement: improving access to information for users and local authorities and promoting accountability and mutual trust between Water Establishments and residents as well as the subscription to the system.
Direct Beneficiaries: 270,000
Indirect Beneficiaries: 697,000
Livelihoods and Local Economic Development
Livelihoods and Local Economic Development are promoted in the target areas by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of agricultural production mainly along specific value chains, to increase regional competitiveness in domestic and international markets and generate income and job opportunities in the agro-food sector and sectors serving it. To alleviate the negative socioeconomic consequences of the multiple crises for both the refugee and the host communities, and paving the way for sustainable development, WeWorld Lebanon is committed on one side in short-term food security and livelihoods interventions, increasing the resilience of local producers, and helping residents to cope with food insecurity and lack of income. On the other side, we are also commited in long-term local economic development programs, generating employment opportunities, supporting and revitalising the rural economy and making it resilient to external shocks. Furthermore, the program strengthens the capacity of public institutions to enhance livelihood opportunities, socio-economic conditions, and social cohesion through participatory planning.
Direct Beneficiaries: 17,800
Indirect Beneficiaries: 186,000
Multi-Sectoral Emergency Response Program
Through a Multi-Sectoral Emergency Response Program, from 2011 on, with the onset of the Syrian Crisis, we have provided in Lebanon multi-sectoral assistance (WASH, Basic Assistance, Shelter, Food Security etc.) to refugees in Informal Tented Settlements (ITSs) and to the Lebanese host community, along with interventions in support to local institutions to strengthen the public services delivery in terms of education, access to water and livelihoods, and mitigate social tensions. In 2020 and 2021, we contributed to the Beirut blast and Covid-19 responses.
Direct Beneficiaries: 116,000
Indirect Beneficiaries: 380,000