The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Simon Coveney, TD, today announced an additional €1 million for the World Food Programme (WFP) to provide assistance for the poorest and most vulnerable Lebanese households. Minister Coveney made the announcement during his visit to Lebanon.
“Lebanon is facing enormous challenges and multiple crises from the impact of the Syrian conflict, economic difficulties and the aftermath of the devastating Beirut explosion last year – and all of this is occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything I have seen and heard during this visit emphasises the need to provide further support to the people of Lebanon – who have been so generous in hosting large numbers of refugees over many years.”
In announcing Ireland’s pledge of €1 million, he added:
“While the search for longer term political and economic solutions continue in Lebanon and the region, we cannot lose time in addressing the devastating consequences of multiple difficulties in the everyday lives of the Lebanese people. It is essential to provide humanitarian assistance now, and that we do so without taking away resources from the much-needed assistance to refugees in Lebanon from Syria and Palestine.”
6 July 2021
Notes for Editors
The humanitarian situation in Lebanon has deteriorated steeply over the past two years. Systems are disintegrating for everyone and a shift is required to address needs that cut across all population groups and to move away from looking at Lebanon only from Syria/Palestine refugee response perspective. Between April 2019 and April 2021, the consumer price index has increased by over 200% and the price of food and beverages by 670%.
Over half the Lebanese population is living in poverty. There is a large and unsustainable increase in numbers accessing public services in health and education, with many private schools closing down; 1.2 million children have not attended school since October 2019. Lebanon hosts the highest number of refugees per capita in the world.
Ireland has already provided €25 million in direct humanitarian grants to Lebanon since 2014 including €3.5 million to date in 2021. Direct recipients of our grants to Lebanon in 2021 are:
- €1.5 million to the UN’s Lebanon Humanitarian Fund that provides funding for critical humanitarian activities.
- €7 million to UNRWA, of which €1 million to support Palestine refugees in Lebanon
- Over €1 million to Concern and Trócaire for their work in Lebanon,
Additionally, Ireland contributes to global funds and core funding to key agencies that allocate funding to Lebanon, including WHO, UNHCR, IFRC, ICRC and the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.
Ireland’s policy for international development, A Better World, outlines Ireland’s vision of a more equal, peaceful, and sustainable world. It commits Ireland to reducing humanitarian need by anticipating and responding to crises to protect the most vulnerable and those at risk.
WFP aims to expand the social assistance programme to reach 350,000 people per month through the National Poverty Targeting Programme (NPTP). The NPTP provides a range of benefits to poor and vulnerable Lebanese households including e-card food vouchers, and education and health benefits.