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UN and partners in Lebanon launch an Emergency Appeal requesting for US$350 million to respond to the immediate impact of COVID-19

Beirut, 7 May 2020 – Today, following consultations with the government and international partners, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim and humanitarian partners are launching the Lebanon Emergency Appeal. The Appeal, requesting for US$350 million, is to address critical areas of humanitarian intervention to protect the lives of people in Lebanon who are most acutely at risk due to the COVID-19 outbreak and its immediate socio-economic impact.

“Through this appeal, the UN and partners are refocusing their work to best support the government and the people in Lebanon in the current circumstances”, said the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim, Mr. Claudio Cordone. “It is crucial to secure the requested funds so that those most in need can receive urgent humanitarian assistance”.

The onset of the COVID-19 in Lebanon has come at an extraordinarily difficult time compounding pre-existing vulnerabilities. The outbreak has added pressure to an already overburdened and under-resourced national health system.

The Appeal is premised on the principle of a single health response for all those residing in Lebanon, without distinction based on gender, nationality or status, under the leadership of the Government of Lebanon.

“So far, Lebanon was able to ensure a strong and well-coordinated preparedness and response to COVID-19. Now, we need to remain vigilant and continue providing the necessary support as the outbreak is far from being over”, said the WHO representative in Lebanon, Dr. Iman Shankiti.

The non-health consequences will also be deeper, longer lasting and require a collective approach.  Children have been deprived of ordinary education, learning opportunities and nutrition support. Food insecurity is now exacerbated by movement restrictions, loss of income, and no access to school food support. Protection concerns are increasing, particularly for women and girls, refugees and migrants, people with disabilities, older people and other vulnerable groups.

In line with the national COVID-19 Response Plan, the UN and its partners have identified four key priority workstreams to respond to current humanitarian needs:

  1. Supporting the preparedness and response capacity of the Lebanese health system in coping with the COVID-19 emergency;
  2. Strengthening the engagement of and communication with communities, supporting good hygiene practices and ensuring COVID-19 specific support services;
  3. Ensuring uninterrupted delivery of critical assistance and services to the refugees and host communities, as foreseen in the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan (LCRP); and,
  4. Expanding support to vulnerable population groups not included in the LCRP, in need of humanitarian assistance due to the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and previous financial crisis.

More information on the Lebanon Emergency Appeal here: https://bit.ly/2Lb1iWS