Started Working in Lebanon
Direct Beneficiaries & Program Participants
Indirect Beneficiaries & Program Participants
Since 2014, RET has directly supported more than 75K direct beneficiaries in Lebanon and indirectly benefitted more than 750 K beneficiaries (52% female) throughout 14 projects focused on Protection, Education, Peace Stability and Transition, Economic Growth & Development and Gender Equality.
Since 2014, RET has conducted operations in 8 governorates in Lebanon, including deep rural and urban areas and in informal tented settlements for refugees, namely in Machta Hammoud, Wadi Khaled, Qobeh, El Mina, Qalamoun, Batroun, Qartaba, Ghazir, Zouk Mosbeh, Antelias, Ain El Remene, Chiyah, Sed El Bouchrieh, Ghaziyeh, Sahel Zahrani, Jezzin, Kfarhim, Chhim, Baalbek, Ras Baalbek, Hermel, Arsal, Akoura, Meryata, and Kfarhazir.
The Situation in Lebanon
Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis in 2011, around one and a half million displaced persons are believed to have crossed the border into Lebanon, formerly home to around four and a half million people. This massive and rapid influx of Syrian refugees into an already vulnerable state has negatively impacted Lebanon’s life on different levels. A declining economy, the exhaustion of social services, a political vacuum, a decrease in security, and a deteriorating quality of life for the displaced Syrians themselves are just a few of the examples of the adversities in that country.
The influx of Syrian refugees in Lebanon added pressure to an already fragile socio-economic situation, marred with political instability, Inter-community tensions, coupled in some areas with sectarian divisions, have a profound impact on social cohesion inter-community relations. Feelings of insecurity on both sides are causing increased mobility restrictions on refugees and segregation between communities.
As of 2019, Lebanon is facing imminent economic collapse that resulted in nation-wide mass protests in October 2019, accompanied by a rise in anti-Syrian/anti-refugee rhetoric. According to UNHCR, almost the entire Syrian refugee population cannot afford the survival minimal expenditure basket (SMEB).Lebanon’s compounded socio-economic and health crisis has hit the most vulnerable Lebanese and refugee families the hardest. The preliminary findings of the 2021 Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon (VASyR), reveal a dire situation, with nine out of ten Syrian refugees still living in extreme poverty, with a rapid deterioration in the living conditions.
In 2013, RET stepped in to respond to the needs and challenges of both the vulnerable members of the host communities and the refugee population. RET implemented multiple projects focusing on building resilience in education, protection, gender equality, social inclusion, peace reconciliation, and youth civic programs to maintain the social fabric and stability of vulnerable communities.
One of RET’s leading work in Lebanon is to empower girls, mothers, and fathers from both the Syrian and Lebanese communities residing particularly in North of Lebanon and in the South of Lebanon (Union of Municipalities of Sahel Al Zahrany) to enhance their knowledge and understanding about early marriage and Gender-based Violence.
Another focus was to strengthen government institutions’ capacities – national and local – and civil society institutions to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, women empowerment, and respond and prevent gender-based violence, including in humanitarian settings.
In February 2016, following the strategy of Reaching all Children with Education in Lebanon and the Lebanese Crisis Response Plan (led by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education), RET worked to introduce a range of services to enhance the access of vulnerable youth to education. RET addressed the significant barriers to keeping vulnerable children and youth out of school while working with the Lebanese host community and the displaced Syrian community. RET instigated educational programs to strengthen the well-being and resilience of vulnerable youth by implementing retention strategies, remedial and homework support programs, and enhancing the educational results and achievements of public-school students at risk of failure dropping out. Furthermore, RET was actively involved in the UNICEF “Back to School Campaign”, which reached out to parents and caregivers and raised their awareness of the importance of education, while referring out-of-school children and youth to formal as informal educational institutions. RET was actively involved in 9 public schools.
Since 2017, RET has implemented consecutive projects to prevent the radicalization and violent extremism and mitigate intra- and inter-community tension and conflicts in Lebanon. RET supported the vulnerable youth’s role through civic responsibility programs, peacebuilding, and conflict resolution. RET focused explicitly on the most vulnerable and marginalized youth, who experienced deprivation, violence, exclusion, or other forms of adversity, and directly targeted 24,000 young people, 50% female participants, throughout three projects.
The projects provided interventions across the Humanitarian – Development – Peace nexus focusing on:
Responding to protection risks and improving coping mechanisms in fragile settings through support groups: Safe platforms/self-help support sessions, psychosocial support (PSS) & referral to mental health/psychosocial support services;
Strengthening youth capacities as agents of peace through: youth community leadership training, mixed social, cultural, arts and sports community peace events, youth networks for exchange, and further community support projects to ensure continued intercommunity and intergenerational dialogue.
Increasing youths’ life prospects and employability profiles through self-reliance training to enhance (a) technical skills and (b) literacy (computer, language, finance) skills.
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RET won the “Prize of Excellence” for its work with child soldiers and the communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo
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