Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- Lebanon’s unprecedented economic and financial crisis has pushed individuals and families towards extreme vulnerabilities. People can no longer afford basic commodities and services, while the government and private sectors provide basic services. An estimated 2.3 million vulnerable Lebanese, Palestinian refugees and migrants, including 700,000 children, are facing a humanitarian crisis and multiple deprivations.
- UNICEF will prioritize ensuring access to basic social services 4 and reducing the risk of families resorting to negative coping strategies by addressing urgent humanitarian needs - through existing inclusive systems, where possible – and by incorporating across its interventions community-based approaches, resilience, gender and inclusion, and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse.
- UNICEF requires US$65.5 million to support vulnerable children and families affected by the complex crises. This includes ensuring nearly 1 million people have access to safe water, and providing social protection assistance for 110,000 people.
Key planned results for 2022
108,098 primary caregivers receiving infant and young child feeding counselling
975,008 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water
27,900 children / caregivers accessing mental health and psychosocial support
100,000 children receiving individual learning materials
Funding requirements for 2022
Country needs and strategy
Lebanon is grappling with economic and financial meltdown, compounded by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the economic and financial crisis began in October 2019, the Lebanese Pound has lost more than 90 per cent of its value, leading to year-on-year inflation of 123 percent by July 2021.
Lebanon’s critical water infrastructure is reaching breaking point, threatening access to safe water for more than 4 million people. Public water supply and wastewater treatment systems have drastically reduced operations all over Lebanon. Water shortages force households to rely on unsafe and expensive alternatives such as collecting untreated water from springs or use of water trucking. People are likely to decrease infection prevention and hygiene practices to reduce water consumption, leading to increased risk of COVID-19 and waterborne diseases, with babies and young children especially vulnerable.
Primary healthcare centres (PHCs) are severely strained due to an exodus of staff and shortages of medication and fuel. Approximately 15 per cent of 20,000 registered nurses have left the country over the past year, and about 1,000 have been laid off. Around 40 per cent of medical doctors have permanently emigrated or are working on a part-time basis outside of the country. PHCs are rationing fuel by reducing opening hours, and more than 600 private pharmacies have temporarily closed.
The crisis is exacerbating gender-based violence (GBV). More than two thirds of GBV-related organizations have experienced increased calls for assistance on their hotlines, and 96 per cent report reduced ability of survivors to reach out for assistance.
Learning losses due to multiple crises and inequitable access to remote learning over the last two school years will likely be irreversible without urgent focus on delivering inclusive learning opportunities to recover lost learning. Over 1.2 million school-aged children had their education disrupted due to COVID-19, with 400,000 children left out of school due to poverty and other factors. Among the most vulnerable, children with disabilities, girls and adolescent young women are most at risk of never returning to learning. Teachers' salaries devalued by 90 per cent in two years and urgent roll-out of teacher incentives is required to ensure continuity and quality of learning.
As the situation continues to deteriorate, measures are taken that often put children at risk. Children as young as six are working on the streets, in agricultural fields or on construction sites, where they are exposed to risks of exploitation.
In Lebanon, UNICEF will address the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable children and young people and contribute to social cohesion through sustaining provision of integrated programming, linking to longer-term strategy where possible. UNICEF will ensure neutrality of assistance and continue strengthening risk management, balancing delivery of services through public and private institutions, specialized civil society organizations, especially at decentralized level, in the most equitable, sustainable and effective way. UNICEF will equip partners and engage communities with information and tools to promote gender-transformative programming; strengthen capacities to address the needs of children with disabilities and ensure child safeguarding and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.
UNICEF will continue to lead the WASH, education, child protection and nutrition sectors coordinating partners' humanitarian response under the Humanitarian Country Team/Emergency Operation Cell, and play a key role in the GBV sector and the health response.
The child protection programme will continue to focus on promoting the well-being and continued protection of women, girls, and boys and their families by preventing and mitigating risks of violence, abuse and exploitation of children and women, and providing vital services, including mental health and psychosocial support for children and caregivers.
In health and nutrition, UNICEF will encourage healthy nutrition practices through counseling and awareness initiatives, engaging 108,000 caregivers on integrated behavior and social change actions and reaching 90,000 caregivers with health integrated messages. To support ongoing access to immunization and health services, UNICEF will support 375 facilities with cold chain and 3,000 children and women will be supported with healthcare services.
The social policy programme will provide emergency social assistance to 110,000 people in vulnerable households, particularly those with children.
In WASH, UNICEF will work with the Water Establishments to ensure they have sufficient fuel, consumables and maintenance for ongoing provision of clean drinking water for nearly 1 million people.
The adolescent and youth programme will increase opportunities for meaningful participation, empowerment and income generation through supporting youth and adolescents to repair residences damaged in the explosions.
Communication for development (C4D) activities will include the use of behavioral and social science evidence to promote healthy and protective behaviours, community engagement, dissemination of accurate and life-saving information, ensuring that the voices and needs of affected populations are heard, and inform interventions.
UNICEF is working with partners across sectors on strengthening the emergency preparedness and response systems, building capacities for risk-informed planning and resilience.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Lebanon; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.