As 2020 unfolds in unprecedented circumstances and the planning and work for the year moves ahead, I am nevertheless delighted to share the 2019 Lebanon Humanitarian Fund Annual Report with you, highlighting the key achievements of the Fund in the year that has passed.
The Lebanon Humanitarian Fund continues to be a great tool for donors to come together and provide timely and flexible funding to support the most vulnerable people in Lebanon. In 2019, we funded 21 humanitarian projects with almost US$11 million supporting Syrian and Palestinian refugees and host communities. LHF-funded projects focused on supporting activities in the education, health, shelter, and protection sectors.
In 2019, the Fund continued to pursue its strategic person-centered approach, launching evidence-based allocations to reach the most vulnerable in Lebanon. With this approach, we support people who are often forgotten in humanitarian crises such as the elderly and those with disabilities. For example, in 2019, we funded shelter improvement for older persons and children at risk, protection services for disabled children, as well as psycho-social support to Palestinian refugees from Lebanon and Syria.
Being a Country-based Pooled Fund, a key strength of the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund is the ability to quickly allocate resources for emergency interventions. In 2019, two Reserve Allocations were launched to respond to an urgent measles outbreak and to provide life-saving winterization support at the end of the year.
An additional strength of the Fund is its robust risk management framework and strong review procedures. Sector coordinators and review committees provide strategic guidance and technical expertise to ensure that the highest priority and best quality interventions are implemented. We would like to thank everyone involved for their vital support.
The Humanitarian Financing Unit continues to work devotedly to improve the Fund as an effective and inclusive tool for the humanitarian response. Globally, Country-based Pooled Funds alway strive to improve processes. For example, a new project proposal template was rolled out with the aim to reduce partners’ time spent on reporting, as well as a new and strengthened gender marker tool.
At the end of 2019, an economic crisis deepened in Lebanon with indicators pointing towards a deteriorating socio-economic situation for people in Lebanon, especially for those already vulnerable. These vulnerabilites have more recently been significantly exacerbated by the covid-19 pandemic. We are monitoring this situation closely and are confident that the Fund is in a position to respond to any dramatic deterioration in the situation to support these vulnerable groups.
I believe that in 2019 we have shown that the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund continues to be a well-managed and flexible Fund with the capacity to launch evidence-based, targeted allocations for those most vulnerable demographics in Lebanon.
Unforeseen and widespread support for the Fund underlines its value and effectiveness. We are grateful to all our dedicated donors – Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Qatar, Sweden and Switzerland – who made interventions possible. Together they contributed $13.2 million, which shows strong levels of confidence in the Fund.We hope that this continues in the year ahead, where the Fund’s added value becomes increasingly clear in these uncertain times.
Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon