Minister of Social Affairs, the European Union, UNICEF and ILO visited one of the Rights and Access Centres part of the National Disability Allowance programme

19 September 2023
Minister of Social Affairs, the European Union, UNICEF and ILO
Choufany/Fouad2023

19 September 2023 ­– The Minister of Social Affairs (MOSA) with a delegation from European Union (EU), UNICEF and ILO visited one of the Rights and Access Centres (R&A) in Hadath neighbourhood of Beirut as part of the National Disability Allowance (NDA) programme. The NDA is an EU funded EUR 20 million programme, implemented under the supervision of MOSA with technical, financial and operational support from UNICEF and ILO.

The Rights and Access centres are the implementation arms and community level gateway of MOSA’s Rights and Access Programme. This centre is one of eight across Lebanon that are handling all data update, renewal, and issuance of the Personal Disability Cards, in addition to other related applications and provide service referrals to people with disabilities.

Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs, Dr. Hector Hajjar said: “This program did not only provide financial support for many people with special needs, but it also ensured the workflow in the 8 Rights and Access Centres in Lebanon. it is only a first step while we seek to secure additional international and local funding so that we can provide comprehensive coverage and help additional age groups”.

 The ILO, in partnership with the Lebanese NGO arcenciel and with financial support from the European Union, provided urgent operational support to the Rights and Access programme and centres to facilitate the roll-out and sustainability of the NDA. This support responded to urgent and essential repairs, maintenance, equipment, and human resources needs that are necessary to ensure essential functionality and access of all centres. It was implemented between February 2023 and September 2023, with a total value of 188,000 USD.

Alessandra Viezzer, Head of Cooperation at the European Union to Lebanon said: “The European Union is proud to be providing support to persons with disability, who are often among the most vulnerable groups in Lebanon. This assistance is part of EU’s overall objectives to strengthen the social protection system, through the National social protection strategy for Lebanon”.

“The launch of the National Disability Allowance earlier this year was a major achievement for Lebanon towards supporting residents who are most in need, and an important step towards establishing a future social protection floor in the country,” said ILO Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat. “We thank the European Union for their generous funding of this initiative. We are very happy that our partnership with UNICEF and arcenciel has enabled us to support the Ministry of Social Affairs in efforts that will contribute towards the social and economic integration of young people with disabilities.”

“In Lebanon, persons with disabilities face barriers to access basic rights such as education, health, and social services. They remain subject to discrimination and at high risk of abuse; this is especially the case for women and girls,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “UNICEF and ILO will continue working closely with MOSA to develop a sustainable financing and legal framework for the NDA programme in harmony with the National Social Protection Strategy.”

The NDA programme, launched back in April 2023, is a social grant providing a direct income support to persons with disabilities aged between 18-28 years and residing in the country. To date, 8,506 Lebanese persons with disabilities, registered in the Rights and Access programme and in possession of the personal disability card are benefiting from USD 40 per month over an initial period of 12 months. The total amount disbursed to date is USD 1,980,480.

The NDA programme has a dedicated call centre managed by UNICEF that is tasked to answer queries and resolve complaints from beneficiaries and can be reached through +961 4 727470, Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Media contacts

Blanche Baz
Communication Specialist
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon
Maya Outayek
Communication Associate
United Nations Children’s Fund Lebanon

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