Response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Syrian war

The humanitarian crisis is represented here by a young Syrian migrant girl who is held by her mother. (C) Freedom House Flicker.

As a response to the huge humanitarian crisis created by the Syrian war, Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP), provides an integrated humanitarian framework which includes a stabilization mechanism to tackle challenges faced by the affected people, in a holistic manner.

The LCRP aims to provide protection and immediate assistance to the most vulnerable section of the population that are displaced because of the Syrian war. The response plan also includes measures aimed at strengthening the capacity of local and national service delivery systems so as to make them more accessible as well as expand their quality of services. LCRP’s plan also strives to reinforce and strengthen the country’s social, economic and environmental stability.

In 2017, the humanitarian crisis as a result of the Syrian war was such that 3.3 million people were in need of assistance; of these LCRP’s along with its implementing partners directed their resources towards 2.8 million people.

This is despite that fact, that its funding levels were below 50% of its requirement: of the $2.75 billion required funds, LCRP had received only $1.24 billion. It used these resources to support the activities of 65 of LCRP partners. 40% of this sum was disbursed to those that were most vulnerable vide a range of cash-based programs. LCRP also used $207 million in order to strengthen policy development, boost capacity, improve quality of delivery services, as well as to bring more stability to public sector institutions.

In 2017, 2.3 million people directly benefited thanks to LCRP’s effective handling of the humanitarian crisis caused by the devastating Syrian war.

However, despite this massive response, LCRP’s outreach efforts were not able to provide assistance to a large section of those affected. LCRP and its partners have been able to mitigate challenging conditions for 10 target sectors across 2017. Here are its key trends and results:

  • Protection risks among the vulnerable population caused by the humanitarian crisis remains high due to lack of legal status among displaced Syrians and low registration of births.

  • Continued prevalence of child labor.

  • The humanitarian crisis caused children to be affected by violent disciplinary practices, with 78% of them suffering from some form of violence.

  • Syrian girls continue to marry at an early age. 22% of displaced Syrian girls aged between 15 to 19 were already married.

  • The humanitarian crisis took living standards to low levels such as 71% to 76% of Syrians displaced by the war were living in poverty with shelter conditions continuing to deteriorate.

  • 53% of those displaced live in inadequate shelters, up from 46% in 2016;

  • 91% of those displaced by the humanitarian crisis have high levels of food insecurity, down from 93% in 2016

  • only 78% of the displaced population had access to improved drinking water sources, thanks to the herculean efforts made by LCRP and its partners.

  • Access to educational and basic services continue to the low with only 430,000 students, up by 8%, being enrolled in a formal system of public education in the country in the academic year 2017-2018.

  • The humanitarian crisis also caused severe retardation of primary healthcare to displaced Syrians, although on this aspect thanks to efforts made by LCRP and its partners saw, 89% of those affected getting access to these services, up from 84% in 2017. Nevertheless, secondary healthcare services remains a strong challenge.

  • Access to improved sanitation facilities has stabilized since 2016, with 86% of those displaced being able to access them in 2017.

  • The humanitarian crisis also saw the employment status take a beating with only 56% of Syrian men aged between 15 to 64 doing some kind of work.

  • The primary area of work has remained to be construction and agriculture.