**Wednesday, May 12, 2021 (United Nations) -- **The United Nations system in Lebanon released today its annual report for the year 2020, committing once again to scale up its efforts to help Lebanon and its people to recover from its multi-faceted crises and 'Build Back Better'.
Through inspiring people's stories and the ongoing commitment of the UN Country Team and its long-standing partners, the '2020 UN Lebanon Annual Results Report' summarizes the results achieved throughout 2020, after four consecutive years of the implementation of the United Nations Strategic Framework for Lebanon 2017--2020 (UNSF)**. **The UNSF outlines the UN's common vision and expected contribution to support Lebanon's political, human rights, humanitarian and development priorities as well as the country's security.
"2020 was an exceptionally challenging year for Lebanon, marked by a series of socio-economic and political hardships that wreaked havoc on the people of Lebanon and continue to submerge the country with unprecedented challenges. Despite the scale of these challenges, UN Lebanon continues to support the people and commits to defend their rights to dignity, peace and justice," said Najat Rochdi, UN Deputy Special Coordinator, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon.
The report highlights key results achieved in response to the COVID19 pandemic and the Beirut port explosions as well as to the Syria crisis and other peace and development priorities set for 2020. These include, but are not limited to, the rehabilitation of 48 schools and around 6,000 residential and non-residential units severely damaged by the devastating explosions, as well as the provision of multipurpose cash assistance to around 91,500 persons.
According to the report, more than 1,200,000 vulnerable people across Lebanon were provided with better access to safe water and around 500,000 children, both Lebanese and refugees, were enrolled in formal education. Through the National Poverty Targeting Program (NPTP), more than 15,000 vulnerable Lebanese households benefited from food assistance in 2020, and over 120,000 Lebanese and non-Lebanese children and other vulnerable groups received cash grants, while thousands of Lebanese and Syrian workers benefited from short-term decent job opportunities.
"This is the raison d'être of the United Nations in Lebanon," added Rochdi. "Whatever we do, be it in responding to emergencies, promoting peace and preventing conflict, supporting good governance, protecting human rights, promoting gender equality and reducing poverty, our overriding aim remains the same: to serve Lebanon and its people."
In response to the COVID19 outbreak in Lebanon, the UN and its partners managed to expand hospitals' bed capacity by procuring 73 fully equipped intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 800 equipped regular beds, together with 170 ventilators. To attenuate the effects of the pandemic on the most vulnerable, the UN also provided 50,000 of the poorest Lebanese households with food parcels, while 700 vulnerable migrant workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the socio-economic crisis were provided with cash assistance.
Ecologically, nearly 7,000 tons of CO2/equivalent were reduced during 2020 from solar hot water system and solar street lighting systems established by the UN in different parts of Lebanon, says the report, whereas approximately 17 municipalities, with a combined 310,000 people, benefited from improved solid waste management.