Around one-quarter of Lebanese people live in poverty and, worryingly, families with children are far more likely to be poor. For the non-Lebanese and largely refugee population, poverty rates are significantly higher with almost 3 out of 4 non-Lebanese being poor. Today, 1.4 million children across all nationalities live in deprivation. Significantly, children living in poverty are less likely to remain in school, grow up healthy, and transition into a decent job.
Over recent years, inequality has significantly increased to extremely high levels. One assessment estimates the top 10% of the adult Lebanese population receive more than half of Lebanon’s total national income. Also, gender inequality in Lebanon is particularly concerning – women face numerous cultural and social barriers – women’s unemployment is twice that of men.
Lebanon faces numerous challenges concerning public spending, and national resources are limited, often inefficiently and ineffectively allocated, and supported with frequently low Public Financial Management capacity.
The nation’s social protection network is weak and dominated by limited impact programmes and fragmented initiatives. Non-Lebanese families also require urgent assistance to protect them from resorting to negative coping strategies – including the removal of their children from education and sending them to work.