UN unveils Emergency Response Plan for Lebanon

The UN has outlined their Emergency Response Plan (ERP) for Lebanon, aimed at providing essential support to 1.1 million civilians among the most vulnerable.

The ERP includes 119 projects for a total of $383 million, and the UN estimates that around 78 per cent of the Lebanese population (3 million people) live below the poverty line, prompting the organization to launch a series of humanitarian programs to ease people’s suffering,reports Xinhua news agency.

This plan focuses on supporting the most vulnerable population in the sectors of education, food security, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, child protection and protection against gender-based violence.

“In my recent field visits, I met children, young and old Lebanese men and women. Their stories were heartbreaking, sometimes outrageous and shocking,” the UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon Najat Rochdi said at a news conference in Beirut.

Lebanon has been going through an unprecedented financial crisis with the local currency depreciating by over 90 per cent, limiting people’s ability to afford their basic needs.

The country’s social stability started deteriorating since the October 2019 uprising, adding to it is the economic impact of Covid-19 and the deadly Port of Beirut explosions in August 2020.

Moreover, the failure to form an effective government to implement much-needed financial reforms accelerated the deterioration of the socioeconomic situation by resulting in the collapse of the Lebanese pound and an increase in annual inflation by 158 per cent with food inflation going up by 550 per cent.