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Guidance note on housing, land and property rights in the context of the Beirut port blast response

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1. Introduction

On August 4, 2020, an explosion occurred at the Beirut Port, resulting in large-scale damage to buildings and infrastructure, losses in lives, homes and businesses, and a disruption in the services provision of several facilities. It is estimated that the Port explosions directly impacted 291,180 individuals living in 72,265 apartments within three kilometers of the epicenter (UNOCHA, 2020).

Property occupants, including owners and tenants, households living in affected dwellings or forced to relocate due to the level of damage in their property might face particular challenges with regards to their HLP rights.

Considering the complexities characterizing HLP issues in this particular context, this guidance note serves to practically guide shelter actors providing relief support to affected households in the rehabilitation of their shelter and living conditions. It aims to mainstream HLP rights in the immediate and longer-term shelter response to the blast, in order to ensure a do-no-harm approach in the intervention. It also aims to contribute to a comprehensive and sustainable ‘'build-back-better'' approach that covers the different components of the right to adequate housing, from the physical restoration of the shelter, to securing the tenure rights of households affected by the blast, during and after displacement. Providing safe, secure and dignified housing and the protection of HLP rights is paramount within the emergency response.