09 December 2020

Social protection in Lebanon: a review of social assistance

Recent developments in Lebanon have drawn renewed interest and attention to the country’s social protection system. High and increasing levels of inequality, alongside low economic growth and sluggish economic prospects, have highlighted some of the defining features of social and fiscal policies in Lebanon, including the comparatively low levels of social assistance. This report contributes to this renewed interest, and related policy dialogue, through a mapping and analysis of social protection in Lebanon, with a focus on social assistance. It draws on a review of the literature and on interviews with key informants conducted over the course of 2017-2018 to: provide an overview of poverty, inequality and social policy in Lebanon; map the main elements of social protection in Lebanon; and provide a detailed mapping and review of social assistance, specifically of the country’s three primary social assistance programmes: programmes and services for people with disabilities, the programme for children in social institutional care, and the National Poverty Targeting Programme (NPTP). As such, this study’s primary focus is on the main social assistance policies administered by Lebanon’s Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA). To enable this mapping and review, the study relies on the Core Diagnostic Framework (CODI) instrument elaborated by the Inter-Agency Social Protection Assessment Initiative (ISPA).