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Employment Intensive Projects in Lebanon Guidelines (October 2020)

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For the Government of Lebanon, the generation of temporary employment and income opportunities along with decent work and labour standards are of high importance. In 2018 a total of nearly 1.5 million displaced Syrians were reported to live in Lebanon - accounting for nearly a quarter of the country’s population . This influx has severely affected the country’s socio-economic situation. Labour market challenges have been exacerbated by the influx of Syrians and unemployment rates increased.

Moreover, the economic slowdown and the limited job opportunities for workers are resulting in social tensions between displaced Syrians and host communities. Unskilled workers consider unemployment and poor working conditions to be a result of increased competition.

Public infrastructure that prior to the crisis was already substandard has suffered due to increased demands for services and usage. Roads, waste management systems, potable water networks, power grids and public buildings, etc. are deteriorating rapidly and will cease to be usable without adequate investments and proper maintenance.

As a response, the Government of Lebanon is striving for long-term reforms and sustainable economic development as brought forward for instance in the frame of the "Economic Conference for Development through Reforms with the Private sector" (CEDRE)3 , the “Capital Investment Plan” (CIP) and the (draft) “Lebanon Economic Vision”. Such reforms are supported by the international community which, after eight years into the crisis, is more and more shifting its focus from short-term emergency response towards longer-term projects in host communities and the country´s sustainable development while maintaining assistance for urgent humanitarian needs.

On this backdrop, Employment Intensive Projects (EIP) are an important means for creating temporary employment and income opportunities while providing social and economic infrastructure and services for sustainable development. Such activities fall under the livelihoods sector of the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, LCRP 2017-2020, which relates to outcomes on local economic development, generating employment, workforce employability and policy development for job creation, decent work and labour standards. The Government of Lebanon through the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) coordinates the implementation of projects under the LCRP and in coordination with the Ministry of Labour safeguard employment generation objectives, prioritisation of youth and women participation, promotion of disability inclusion and social stability, contributing to the national priority of job creation in vulnerable localities.

In this document, Employment Intensive Projects (EIP) is an overarching term used to refer to projects or initiatives with high labour intensity. This can include sub-categories of projects ranging from classical Cash-for-Work (CfW) interventions - providing temporary work for crisis affected households to quickly earn cash and get back on their feet - to Employment Intensive Investment Programmes (EIIP) - an approach to labour based and local resource-based employment intensive infrastructure projects.