Japan grants US$2 million to support host communities and displaced Syrians in Lebanon

Dec 23, 2015

Photo: UNDP

The Japanese government has provided an emergency grant of US$ 2 million to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in response to the needs of host communities and displaced Syrians in Lebanon.

The project aims to increase stability among over one million Syrians in Lebanon, and the surrounding host communities who are also struggling to cope with the influx of displaced peoples.

“This emergency grant to UNHCR and UNDP will not only provide the most vulnerable people with necessary protection and support, but also stimulate the local economy by enhancing the capacity of host communities and increasing income generating opportunities. Japan will continue its support towards the countries affected by the humanitarian crisis,” said Mr. Seiichi Otsuka, the Japanese Ambassador to Lebanon.

One million dollars will be channelled through the Lebanon Host Communities Support Project (LHSP), a joint initiative between the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) and UNDP, as part of a comprehensive and coordinated response to the Syrian crisis and its impact in Lebanon.

“We thank the Japanese Government for its efforts and his Excellency the Ambassador. We reiterate the importance of this generous contribution in supporting national strategies that respond to the crisis and supporting the stabilization and development of local host communities and displaced communities. We hope this donation will pave the way for other partners to further develop the efforts undertaken by the ministry in support of the local host communities,” said Minister of Social Affairs Mr. Rachid Derbas.

The other half of the grant will in part allow UNHCR to extend the running of five community centres in Bekaa for an additional three months. Over the past years, these centres have offered a safe space for Lebanese and Syrians to gather, attend language classes, skills training, and receive the psychosocial support they need.

Another part of this grant will be geared toward UNHCR’s Refugee Outreach Volunteer (ROV) programme through which over 500 displaced Syrians work to identify the needs and concerns within their communities and provide information on available services and remedies. Japan’s contribution will also help UNHCR intensify its programmes to prevent sexual and gender-based violence among the displaced population and Lebanese host communities, as well as protect children from veering into child labour and early marriage.

“We warmly welcome this generous contribution by the people of Japan,” said UNHCR’s representative in Lebanon Mireille Girard.

“Both Lebanese and Syrians have suffered unimaginable loss and tragedy over the past years as a result of this ceaseless crisis. The Japanese contribution will allow UNHCR to sustain key programmes, such as the running of community centres, which offer a much needed breathing space to both Syrian displaced and their Lebanese hosts.”
The Lebanon Host Communities Support Project is applying a participatory approach to identify the needs of the community. This methodology is supported by MoSA and UNDP in order to ensure the alignment of projects with national strategies. In 2014, the methodology was implemented in 48 vulnerable municipalities. This year an additional 100 municipalities have been included.

Under LHSP, the emergency grant aid will support agriculture related activities and infrastructure in Qabb Elias village, Bekaa. Agriculture is the primary source of income in the area. The construction, extension and rehabilitation of irrigation canals, will increase access to farming services and expand income opportunities in the village, as well as improve water management and conservation. The project will benefit approximately 12,000 local residents. In addition, vocational training and basic business development strategies will be provided to support residents from the village.

“I believe that when people start caring for other people, the world will become a better place. Japan and its people have shown significant commitment to the Lebanese host communities and Syrian displaced since the beginning of the Syria Crisis,” said the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Lebanon Mr. Philippe Lazzarini.

“Japan’s contribution will help alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon,” he added.

Lebanon’s already dilapidated social infrastructure has suffered greatly with the influx of huge numbers of Syrian displaced people. Supporting better basic services delivery, improving livelihoods and building the capacity of public institutions and local governments will serve to diffuse conflicts and improve livelihoods for both the displaced and host communities. Through this emergency grant aid from Japan, LHSP will support efforts to mitigate the impact of the Syria crisis on vulnerable local communities and help in building a better and more resilient future for all the Lebanese.

Since 2013, the Government of Japan has provided over US$ 40 million to agencies in Lebanon to help the country cope with this unprecedented crisis and allow displaced and host communities to live in peace and dignity.

Contact Information

For more information please contact Naoki Nihei, UNDP-JICA Collaboration Advisor, HQ/BERA: naoki.nihei@undp.org, +12129065616

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