2013 UNHCR country operations profile - Lebanon
The start of April 2011 saw a fresh influx of some 5,000 Syrian refugees into northern Lebanon. Since then, UNHCR and its UN and NGO partners have worked closely with the Government of Lebanon to respond to the new arrivals' protection and humanitarian needs. The response has expanded as the refugees have settled in other areas, such as the Bekaa Valley, where UNHCR started a full-time operation in March 2012.
UNHCR and its partners are assisting some 63,000 Syrian refugees who have fled to Lebanon since the beginning of the crisis. Some 50 per cent are concentrated in the north of the country and 40 per cent in the Bekaa, with the rest in Beirut, its suburbs and the south. In addition, UNHCR Lebanon has registered more than 10,000 non-Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers, 80 per cent of whom are Iraqis. Most live in and around the Beirut area in impoverished circumstances. Lebanon also has a large population of stateless people.
Although not a signatory to the Refugee and Statelessness Conventions, Lebanon has signed most other relevant human-rights treaties. Constitutionally, the latter take precedence over domestic law, but this is rarely observed by the courts. Lebanon does not have legislation or administrative procedures in place to address the specific needs of refugees and asylum-seekers, who are vulnerable to detention and deportation for illegal entry or stay.
Although the Government has adopted a protection- and humanitarian-oriented response to the Syrian influx, the absence of a legal or administrative framework leaves Syrian and non-Syrian refugees vulnerable to arrest, detention and deportation. Improving the protection climate for refugees and other displaced people in Lebanon is therefore a priority for UNHCR, and a more predictable operational understanding is being sought with the Government.
For non-Syrian refugees, resettlement is the main durable solution available, as the Government will not permit local integration and most countries of origin are not stable enough to be conducive to safe and sustainable return. Considerable amounts of time and resources are therefore needed to prepare and submit new applications and reduce the backlog.
|UNHCR 2013 planning figures for Lebanon|
|TYPE OF POPULATION||ORIGIN||JAN 2013||DEC 2013|
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|Syrian Arab Rep.||120,000||120,000||300,000||300,000|
|Persons in refugee-like situations||Various||150||150||150||150|
|Syrian Arab Rep.||200||200||50||50|
Main objectives and targets for 2013
Favourable protection environment
A national legal framework is developed.
A new operational framework is planned for signature between UNHCR and the Government of Lebanon in 2013.
National laws and policy become at least 50 per cent consistent with international asylum standards.
Security from violence and exploitation
Risks related to detention are reduced and freedom of movement increased.
Some 70 per cent of people of concern enjoy freedom of movement through the issuance of circulation permits.
Fair protection processes and documentation
The quality of registration and profiling is improved or maintained.
Timely registration, status determination and resettlement interventions are made for persons of concern.
The average number of days from first-instance interview to notification of the result is reduced to 30 days.
Basic needs and essential services
Services for groups with specific needs are strengthened.
Some 70 per cent of individuals with psychosocial needs have access to services.
The needs for basic and domestic items are met for 90 per cent of households.
The health of the population improves or remains stable.
All people of concern have access to primary health care.
Some 90 per cent of people of concern have access to secondary health care.
The population has optimal access to education.
All children of concern aged 6-13 are enrolled in primary education.
Community empowerment and self-reliance
Self-reliance and livelihoods are improved.
Some 30 per cent of people of concern to UNHCR have access to work opportunities.
The potential for resettlement is realized.
Some 80 per cent of identified individuals depart for resettlement.
Strategy and activities in 2013
UNHCR believes that providing protection and finding solutions for refugees and others of concern in Lebanon can best be done through a close partnership with the Government, Parliament, the judiciary, the UN Country Team, local NGOs and other partners.
In light of this, UNHCR will continue to advocate with the Government for an administrative framework for the protection of persons of concern in Lebanon. The Office will continue to seek a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government that sets out areas of agreement related to reception, status determination, temporary permits, durable solutions, regular information exchange, joint training and the strengthening of response capacities.
Strengthening its engagement with the Prime Minister's Office and relevant Government counterparts will allow UNHCR to aim for overall legal protection for Syrian refugees, access to public education for children, the wider availability of health assistance and the strengthening of social development centres.
In addition, UNHCR will continue to lead inter-agency coordination to ensure information sharing, programme coordination and planning and better coverage of refugees' needs. It will also continue to work with UN, governmental and NGO partners on a strategy to reduce and prevent statelessness in Lebanon.
UNHCR anticipates registering some 10,000-15,000 refugees per month, most of whom will be Syrians. Staff will meet and counsel people of concern and undertake registration and refugee status determination (RSD) in a timely manner. Support will be provided to obtain civil status documentation and residency permits to enhance their protection.
Through the delivery of basic domestic items such as food, hygiene kits or fuel the Office will help refugees and asylum-seekers to meet their basic needs. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable, such as people in detention, women, children, elderly and disabled individuals. The Office will also support refugees and asylum-seekers in obtaining work permits in order to improve their self-reliance.
UNHCR will provide health assistance, including primary, hospital, mental and psychological care, to all refugees and asylum-seekers in need. Education grants will be provided for children; remedial classes and vocational training will be conducted; and measures will be taken to address high dropout rates. Non-formal education classes will also be supported through vocational skills training, music classes, sports activities and drama therapy for the benefit of young refugees.
Furthermore, detention monitoring, legal aid and activities to address gender-based violence will help ensure protection and security from such violence and exploitation.
Regional upheavals have had a destabilizing effect in Lebanon, leading to political polarization among the various factions in the country, and sometimes hindering the functioning of the executive and legislative branches of government.
Armed clashes and shelling particularly in Tripoli and in the Aakar region hamper access to these areas, obstructing delivery of humanitarian programmes.
Organization and implementation
The UNHCR country operation in Lebanon will be led by the branch office in Beirut and three field units in Qubayat/Akkar (North), Chekka (Tripoli area) and Zahle (Bekaa).
From the outset, positive working relations were established with the High Relief Commission and the Ministry of Social Affairs, which have benefited refugees and hosting communities.
A wide range of partners have been mobilized to respond to the Syrian refugee influx. General and sectoral inter-agency meetings are held regularly in Beirut and in the Field, enabling coordinated responses based on the expertise of each organization. UNHCR also meets with other UN agencies through regular UN Country Team meetings and integrated working groups on human rights and gender. Inter-agency work on the prevention and reduction of statelessness is gaining momentum.
The 2013 budget foresees the continued provision of protection and assistance to persons of concern in Lebanon in close coordination with the Government and with the support of operational and implementing partners. The total required budget is USD 36 million.
The 2013 budget for Lebanon will be further revised in order to cover additional needs related to the Syria crisis which could not be assessed at the time this budget was approved.
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2013 Update
UNHCR contact information
|The UNHCR Representation in Lebanon|
|Style of Address||The UNHCR Representative in Lebanon|
|Street Address||Khater Building,
Dr. Philippe Hitti Street,
Ramlet El Baida,
(Behind Spinneys Supermarket - Jnah),
Beirut - Lebanon
|Mailing Address||P.O. Box 11-7332
Riad El Solh
|Telephone||+961 1 849201|
|Facsimile||+961 1 849211|
|Time Zone||GMT + 2:00|
|Public Holidays||03 January 2011, New Year
15 February 2011, Prophet's Birthday
22 April 2011, Good Friday (Catholic and Orthodox)
25 April 2011, Easter (Catholic and Orthodox)
02 May 2011, Labor Day
30 August 2011, Eid Al-Fitr
07 November 2011, Eid AL-Adha
22 November 2011, Independance Day
28 November 2011, Hejira New Year
26 December 2011, Christmas
|Comments||The opening date of the office: 1963.|