New Initiative Provides Cash Assistance to Fill the Gap for Vulnerable Communities in Lebanon
December 14, 2018 | Washington, DC We are pleased to announce that Anera has received a grant from UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) to initiate a “Cash Assistance for Vulnerable Communities in Tripoli” project. In response to the economic hardships created by the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, the nearly half million dollar project will provide 250 vulnerable households (some 1,250 individuals) in Tripoli with nine monthly unconditional cash transfers ($174 USD) to address their basic human needs. The 250 households will be divided equitably between those of Syrian and Lebanese origin.
Cash transfer programs have transformed the way that humanitarian aid is delivered. Anera’s program in Lebanon brings added innovation by including vulnerable host communities as well.
“I’m extremely happy to be working with UMCOR again. Cash assistance is so needed. It’s the priority for refugees and their host communities, especially coming at a time when there’s so much need given a decline in the economy and in assistance to refugees,” says Samar El Yassir, Anera’s Lebanon country director.
UN organizations and partners have agreed that provision of emergency cash assistance is the best approach to support the most vulnerable families affected by the Syrian refugee crisis. Assistance through cash transfer programming is the most direct, efficient and effective method to rapidly address shelter, basic household and early recovery needs. Aid organizations have thus far been unable to reach key clusters of Syrian refugees across northern Lebanon.
Anera’s cash program is unique in that it provides assistance to vulnerable Lebanese host communities, to avoid exacerbating tensions between the two groups. Many of the communities in Lebanon where Syrian refugees have encamped are among the poorest and least prepared for the influx of new residents. Many Lebanese residents and refugees cannot afford to pay for utilities like running water and heat. Tensions are very high between the host community and refugees, and there is a desperate need for social cohesion efforts.
The Syrian refugee crisis is now entering its eighth year and conditions continue to deteriorate for communities directly impacted, both refugee and host. Currently, Lebanon has the highest refugee-to-host population ratio in the world. Restrictions on legal employment of refugees has sharply limited access to income-generation opportunities.
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Media Relations Officer, Anera
For 50 years, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. In this way, Anera has grown to deliver more than $65 million in programming annually. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.