Cash for Basic Assistance II (Lebanon)
The overall objective of this project is to contribute to improving basic living conditions of Syrian refugees and affected vulnerable host communities in Lebanon.
Specifically, its aim is that 350 most vulnerable Syrian refugee and host community households are better capable to meet their basic needs and cope with challenging winter conditions as well as sudden onset emergencies
1. 250 target households (HH) in Zahle and Rachaya (1.250 persons) have improved their capacity to cover their priority basic needs and their access to basic services for 31 months
2. The same target households (250 HH) have improved their capacity to cope with severe seasonal changes during harsh winter months
3. LRC has increased capacity and the means to support communities affected by sudden onset emergencies with cash assistance
In total, about 1.795 men, women, girls and boys (including 45 LRC volunteers and staff) will profit from the ADA grant.
• Approx. 250 most vulnerable households (1.250 persons in need). Those beneficiaries will include approx. 70% Syrian refugee households and 30% most vulnerable Lebanese host community households, according to the demographic balance of the most vulnerable families.
• Up to 100 most vulnerable families, affected by a sudden onset disaster will furthermore profit from a one-time cash assistance.
• Approximately 45 LRC volunteers and staff (gender balanced) will be trained for the cash in emergency component. Furthermore, the LRC Disaster Management Unit will benefit directly from the upgraded information management system for emergency response.
Indirect beneficiaries include the population of Zahle and Rachaya districts, municipality offices and representatives of both districts, profiting indirectly from the increased economic activity in the communities, and the LRC Disaster Management Unit, by increasing the CTP operational capacities.
b) Implementing Partners of the Applicant:
The Lebanese Red Cross (LRC) with about 300 staff and 7.000 volunteers in 32 branches throughout the country will be the implementing partner of the project.
c) Exact Location
The main geographical area for the implementation of the project will be in the Bekaa region, in Zahle and Rachaya. Those families profiting from emergency cash assistance however will be selected from the broader LRC operational area and hence won’t be necessarily located in Zahle and Rachaya
- 250 target households receive cash for basic assistance such as food, health, education and rental fees and in addition, for harsh winter months where needs increase, a cash top-up.
- Up to 100 target households receive a one-time cash assistance to meet their immediate needs resulting from a sudden onset disaster.
- Systems are being set up and 45 LRC staff and volunteers will be trained in providing emergency cash to allow for a rapid response to vulnerable beneficiaries within 72h after a sudden onset disaster
Almost eight years into the conflict in Syria, approx. 1.5 million Syrian refugees out of which 944.613 are currently registered with UNHCR reside in Lebanon. In the Bekaa region 342.560 Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR with many more present but without registration.
Persons displaced from Syria have reached a critical situation portrayed by a progressive dwindling of resources and restricted access to income generation opportunities, thus especially, but not only the refugee population remains highly vulnerable to external shocks and reliant on humanitarian assistance to survive.
Even though more sustainable solutions are being explored, due to restrictive regulations regarding the access to the labor market for refugees, coupled with a severe shortfall in international support many Syrian refugees in Lebanon are still unable to access crucial basic family needs including medical care, food, adequate shelter, access to education, basic domestic items for their household incl. clothes and home supplies. During winter (from November to March), needs increase as temperatures drop in many parts in Lebanon and heating, warm clothing and blankets are needed. Regular financial support flexible enough to cover the individual minimum basic needs of those most vulnerable families are crucial to avoid further adaptation of negative coping mechanisms, increase of debts and to ensure that minimum basic needs can be met.
Additional budget and extension of project duration:
250 families from the communities of Zahle and Rachaya in the Bekaa region received monthly cash grants of USD 175 starting from July 2019, up until July 2020. The severe economic crisis, that hit Lebanon mid-2019 and the consequential devaluation of the local currency had a detrimental impact on the humanitarian situation in Lebanon. Since the market value of the LBP was severely affected, LRC, together with the humanitarian community was able to negotiate a beneficial exchange rate of 1 USD / 3900 LBP, instead of the official rate of 1 USD / 1500 LBP. This led to exchange rate gains increasing the LBP value of cash grants, which enabled LRC to provide further grants from August until December 2020, as well as USD 88.6 in November and December 2020, in addition to the regular winterization support of USD 75 from November 2019 until February 2020.
The assessment conducted in October 2020 showed the continued vulnerability of the 250 families targeted during the first two cash grant cycles. These families were therefore chosen for additional cash grant support starting from March until December 2021. In addition to the regular monthly support double cash grants of USD 61.5 for winterization will be provided in November and December 2021, enabling the families to prepare for winter in a timely manner, therefore also benefiting from lower prices of heating materials and other supplies, before the onset of the winter season.
Furthermore, continued emphasis will be placed on training for staff and volunteers. After the conclusion of two cash grant cycles and the provision of further winterization grants the beginning of 2021 will be mainly dedicated to evaluating the support provided to date, assessment of needs and programmatic changes, if needed. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the respective movement restrictions, as well as precautionary measures, in-person assessments are held to a minimum and follow-up with beneficiaries is mostly conducted by phone. The Covid-19 pandemic also prevents LRC from conducting in-person trainings and a shift to online-training methods is ongoing. These changes will require an initial investment in the new training methodology, will however provide LRC with a sustainable and low-cost method for capacity building and strengthening their Cash Transfer Programming (CTP) approach, knowledge about emergency tools and SOPs, as well as crosscutting issues like i.e. Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI), Diversity, Community Engagement and Accountability (CEA), as well as LRC’s Green Response. In 2021 a special training emphasis will be put on the empowerment of women and gender responsive approach in LRC’s operations.