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UN Special Coordinator visits south Lebanon [EN/AR]

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Today, the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Ms. Joanna Wronecka, visited southern Lebanon including Sidon, Bissariye, Sarafand and Amraa. She met with the Directorate of General Security, visited a collective shelter and spoke to Lebanese and refugee families supported by the UN and its partners.

"The current economic crisis is having a severe impact on communities in the south, where vulnerable Lebanese and refugee families are struggling," the Special Coordinator said. “During today’s visit, I spoke with many families who shared their difficulties to provide for their loved ones and their overall desire to live in dignity.”

In Bissariye, the Special Coordinator visited a collective shelter hosting some 46 families who are increasingly relying on humanitarian assistance given the impact of the current economic crisis, the lack of livelihood opportunities and the increase of prices of basic commodities.

Representatives from UNHCR briefed the Special Coordinator on the situation of Syrian refugees. Nine out of ten Syrian refugees in Lebanon continue to live in extreme poverty and 30% are food insecure. They also discussed the assistance extended by UNHCR to refugees and to Lebanese host communities, particularly during the winter season.

"Faced with one of the harshest winters, many families are relying on the assistance provided by the United Nations to cope. Still, the needs are immense and most families cannot make ends meet" the Special Coordinator said while participating in the distribution of UNHCR’s winter assistance in Amraa. "I was pleased to see support provided to both refugee and Lebanese families. It is crucial to continue to support Lebanese families and municipalities in order to mitigate the impact of the current compounded crises and contribute to longer-term development.”

The Special Coordinator reiterated the importance of safeguarding stability and social cohesion in Lebanon despite the severe socio-economic crisis, and the UN's strong commitment to leaving no one behind.