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Inter-Agency Shelter Sector for Port Beirut Explosion — Revised Sector Strategy, Rev02. 7th October 2020

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1 Shelter Sector


Under the leadership of the HC, the shelter response is coordinated by UNHCR, with UN-Habitat and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) as co-coordinators. The focus of UNHCR is on coordination of the overall humanitarian shelter response while ensuring necessary linkages and synergies with LCRP as the pre-existing shelter coordination platform (also covering COVID-19 shelter needs) and maintaining coherence with the recovery and longer-term reconstruction in partnership with UN-Habitat that includes co-leadership of the Housing Sector of the 3RF (Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework).

The co-leadership partnership with NRC for the Beirut Blast provides technical support and guidance and coherence with NGO partners. The three areas of focus (coordination, recovery, technical support) shall be closely coordinated and build complementarity for coherence and better delivery of services for all affected populations

Linking with 3RF

Following the blast, the World Bank Group, United Nations and European Union jointly launched a Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) to estimate the impact on the Lebanese population, physical assets, infrastructure and service delivery. One of the main recommendations of the RDNA was to develop a framework for Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction (the 3RF) to ‘build back a better Lebanon’ based on principles of transparency, inclusion and accountability.

Taking a Whole of Lebanon approach, the 3RF focuses on a number of critical priorities representing overall strategic objectives for reform, recovery and reconstruction following the Beirut port explosion. Housing is one of the key Sectors articulated in the 3RF and the Shelter Sector emergency response and early recovery focus will transition into the 3RF structure at the end of the Flash Appeal (See Section 3.1) period. While the preparation of the Housing Chapter, co-led by the World Bank and UN, concluded at the beginning of October, the 3RF will be formally launched with an associated appeal toward the end of October. Further articulation of the Housing Sector priorities, implementation approaches and key stakeholders will be available as part of the 3RF launch.

Shelter Sector partners are encouraged to engage with the 3RF process to ensure smooth transition of all relevant activities into the longer-term recovery and reconstruction framework, which will include additional priorities such as policy and institutional strengthening for improved housing supply, availability and access for all populations in Lebanon.

Multi Sector Needs Assessment (MSNA)

Along with all Sectors, the Shelter Sector fully engages with the MSNA. As an indicative tool, the MSNA has helped guide the shelter sector to quantify the needs in the affected areas. It has also informed the distribution of 7,500 sealing-off kits during the initial phase of the response.

It is important to note that shelter conditions are a moving target in view of three main actors:

  • People self-recovered repairs.

  • Non-sector agencies, with fast access to damaged buildings through direct access to FER, and with fast interventions and hardly any accountability for contracting modalities.

  • Sector partners.

Therefore, the MSNA would not replace the need for partner’s individual technical and vulnerability assessments so they can get accurate cost estimates and damage categorisation, for program planning requirements.

2 Situation

On 4 August, the city of Beirut was hit by a devastating explosion which flattened most of the city’s port, damaging neighbourhoods and buildings across the capital. It left more than 180 people dead, more than 6,500 people injured, and a reported 300,000 people displaced. The government declared a state of emergency.

The explosions hit as Lebanon faces a multi-faceted crisis. In recent months, the socio-economic situation of Lebanese, refugees and migrant workers has continued to deteriorate, with the cost of basic needs exponentially rising as a result of the deep economic and financial crisis, exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19.