QFFD and IOM Complete Livelihood Project Supporting Syrian Refugees and Vulnerable Lebanese

Qatar Fund for Development representative in Lebanon visiting Cash for Work sites with IOM in Saadnayel, Bekaa on 21/06/2023 – credits: IOM

Beirut, Lebanon – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Lebanon and Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) completed a one-year livelihood project supporting Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese in Bekaa and North Lebanon. The project provided income opportunities to 664 Syrian and Lebanese beneficiaries through cash-for-work and supported 50 microenterprises with grants and business development training.

“This support was able to improve the life of many Lebanese and Syrian refugees in Lebanon, helping them not just to overcome poverty but also support their community and allow them to build their resilience. We are proud to be part of this project and support the Syrian refugees' livelihood, especially in these crucial times” Said Sultan Al-Aseeri, Deputy Director General for projects

“Lebanon's crisis has triggered a significant rise in poverty. The support from QFFD has allowed IOM to continue delivering much needed livelihood support in communities which have been hit hardest,” said

Mathieu Luciano, IOM Lebanon’s Head of Office. “Such livelihood initiatives also help to reduce the economic factors driving tension at local level.”

Cash-for-work activities, carried out in collaboration with 13 local municipalities in North Lebanon, Akkar and the Bekaa Valley, directly benefited 664 families. Project interventions focused on maintenance work of local infrastructure and facilities, such as roads, drainage canals, and public parks, and helped reduce tensions driven by economic factors while providing income to economically vulnerable households.

The project also supported microenterprises in Central Bekaa. IOM provided 50 local entrepreneurs with microgrants to start or expand their businesses. IOM also delivered business development training and mentoring to project beneficiaries to optimize business success.

For the past three years, Lebanon has endured a complex economic and financial crisis. Syrian refugees have been significantly affected by the sharp rise in poverty triggered by the crisis, with limited access to food, education, healthcare, and other basic services. Lebanese have also been affected. According to the World Bank, more than half the Lebanese population is living below the poverty line. These economic factors are producing local tension, driven by competition for lower-skilled jobs, goods, and services. Amid these deteriorating conditions, Lebanon is witnessing one of the largest waves of emigration in the country’s history. While many Lebanese have left through regular channels, a growing number of refugees, largely Syrians, and Lebanese attempt to leave irregularly by sea to Europe. 4,629 people attempted the journey in 2022, compared to just 270 in 2019. The sea journeys are very dangerous, as evidenced by incidents in April, September, and December 2022, in which approximately 142 people died at sea.