UNDP launches Karantina rehabilitation center to support people with disability in Lebanon

March 29, 2023

Beirut, 28 March, 2023 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Public Health inaugurated Karantina Rehabilitation Center. The centre is located at Beirut Public Hospital in Karantina and is the first of its kind in a public hospital in Lebanon. 

The UNDP built and outfitted the centre with medical equipment to assist people with disability who have been disproportionately affected by the country's ongoing crisis particularly following the Beirut Blast, which left many people with physical and psychological difficulties.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of Lebanon's population, or over 900,000 people have a disability, out of a total of 7 million people. However, only 10% of them have access to the healthcare services they need. This highlights the urgent need for rehabilitation centers like the one in Karantina, which will provide crucial services to those who have been left behind.

The Karantina Rehabilitation Center, which was fully funded by UNDP, is made up of 700 square meters of prefabricated, fully equipped clinics. Managed by the NGO ArcEnCiel, it will provide around 360 therapy sessions and 80 medical consultations per month free of charge. Those include physiotherapy, speech therapy, psychotherapy, early interventions, and other services to people with disability.

To ensure uninterrupted access to energy, the center has been equipped with a hybrid solar photovoltaic and diesel energy system with a total capacity of 80 KW and a battery bank of 150 KWh, which was made possible with the generous support of the Government of Germany through KFW Development Bank. 

The center is now fully funded for one year through additional funding from UNDP and will provide services at no charge with plans to secure the needed funding for an additional year until the center can sustain its operations through symbolic fees in the future.

The Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without ensuring that people with disabilities are at the heart of UNDP's efforts. Therefore, it is necessary that development efforts are inclusive and accessible to all, regardless of their abilities. This commitment has resulted in further tangible actions, such as the distribution of assistive devices to 1,800 people with disability after the Beirut blast through ArcEnCiel.

"UNDP is proud to have taken these actions, but we also recognize that sustainability is critical to ensuring the centre’s long-term impact.  The Government, the Karantina Hospital, NGOs, and the international community must continue to work together for the center's long-term financial sustainability. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that people with disability have access to services they require to live dignified and fulfilling lives. UNDP will continue to work tirelessly towards building a more inclusive society, one where no one is left behind." Melanie Hauenstein, UNDP Resident Representative.

" The launch of the Karantina Rehabilitation Center is a significant step towards ensuring that people with disability, in Lebanon and the region, have the resources they need to thrive. I am proud to be part of UNDP's efforts towards building a more inclusive society, one that recognizes the value and contributions of all individuals, regardless of their abilities." Michael Haddad, UNDP Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Climate Action.

"We are grateful for UNDP's funding and support, which has enabled us to provide these essential healthcare services to people with disability who have been underserved for far too long. The Karantina Rehabilitation Center will make a significant impact in the lives of those who need it most." Dr. Michel Matar, Chairman of Beirut Public Hospital.

The Karantina Rehabilitation Center is part of UNDP's holistic recovery approach that has extended over two years, working with local communities and stakeholders in Karantina to plan for a sustainable and inclusive neighbourhood. This included the implementation of solar water heaters for households, psycho-social support, lighting of main street using solar energy, and rehabilitation of small businesses and homes, among others.

UNDP is working in Lebanon since 1986 as a development partner supporting economic recovery, working with municipalities to deliver basic services to host communities, promoting clean energy and solid waste management, strengthening governance and rule of law, providing support to elections, and working on empowering women and youth.


For more information, please contact

In UNDP – Lebanon | Rana Moughabghab | rana.moughabghab@undp.org |  +961 3 835 351


UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.