Lebanon’s National Disability Allowance: Fostering the Independence of Youth with Disabilities
Never give up on your dreams: the inspiring story of Mohamed, the Lebanese who faced difficulties and emerged from them stronger and stronger
Mohamad is a twenty-seven-year-old man from Tripoli, North Lebanon. He was born prematurely and lives with a motor disability as a result. Despite challenges due to absence of disability inclusion in Lebanon, Mohamad is a determined young man who is eager to speak about the impact the National Disability Allowance (NDA) program had on his life.
Launched in April 2023, the National Disability Allowance (NDA) program provides direct income support to persons with disabilities across Lebanon. The program was launched by the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA), in partnership with the European Union, UNICEF and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Mohamad has been looking for work for a long time. He has applied for jobs as a daily worker, a taxi driver, and a porter. He believes he has been rejected from all of these jobs because of the prevalence of discrimination towards people with disability and the lack of inclusion policies and measures that would facilitate the access of persons with disability to employment.
Mohamad's parents are of old age and have several health issues. They are unable to work, so Mohamad wants to be able to provide for the family. He feels the burden of the economic situation on his shoulders at a time where opportunities are very scarce in the country, and Tripoli more specifically, due to the economic crisis.
Mohamad was bullied as a child and continues to be bullied today, because of his disability. “Sometimes I cry, but never let anything get me down,” says Mohamad.
Mohamad recently received a monthly allowance through the National Disability Allowance (NDA) program. He can now afford to recharge his phone, pay for transportation , and cover some of his other basic needs. He is no longer stuck at home all day.
The National Disability Allowance has given Mohammad greater independence and hope that a better future is possible. “The allowance has given me hope,” says Mohamad.
Mohamad is grateful for the support provided by the National Disability Allowance with funding from the European Union to cover for the additional costs of living with a disability.
Mohamad's mother is very supportive. She is always there for him, no matter what. So is his father, despite his old age and deteriorating health situation.
Mohamad's story is a powerful reminder that individuals with disabilities are disproportionately affected by the economic challenges and rising costs of living in Lebanon. Many of them still face unfair treatment and being left out, which holds them back from reaching their full potential and keeps them stuck in poverty.
The financial support provided through the National Disability Allowance is more than just assistance – it's a right. It can make a real difference in overcoming barriers that young people with disabilities like Mohamad experience, giving them a renewed sense of hope for a better future
Lebanon’s National Disability Allowance program is implemented by the Ministry of Social Affairs, with support from the European Union, UNICEF and ILO.