Poverty, Inequality and Social Protection in Lebanon | Poverty

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The impact of the Syria crisis on Lebanon is immense and multidimensional. The massive population influx has put huge pressure on the labour market and employment, while also driving up prices for consumables and the cost of shelter. The number of people living under the poverty line in Lebanon has risen by 66 percent since 2011, and the World Bank estimates that an extra 170,000 Lebanese became poor between 2011 and 2014. Around 350,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon are estimated to be unable to meet their minimum survival requirements and another 350,000 Lebanese live on less than $1 per day. As people living in extreme poverty, they are more vulnerable to homelessness, illness, malnutrition and risky coping strategies. This report is the result of research by Oxfam and the American University, Beirut in an effort to gain a better insight into the lives and struggles of poor Lebanese households alongside Syrian and Palestinian refugee populations in Lebanon.  It assesses the policies and programmes implemented by the government and international donors to provide a level of support and social protection. This research contributed to the Oxfam briefing paper ‘Lebanon Looking Ahead in Times of Crisis’.
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   www.oxfam.org Poverty, Inequality and Social Protection in Lebanon January 2016 Study conducted by Nupur Kukrety, Independent Consultant, Oxfam and Issam Fares Institute of American University Beirut  2 | Page Oxfam Research Reports This research report was written to share research results, to contribute to public debate and to invite feedback on development and humanitarian policy and practice. It does not necessarily reflect Oxfam or AUB policy positions. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Oxfam or AUB.   For more information, or to comment on this document, email Rachel Eichholz at REichholz@oxfam.org.uk  Acknowledgements The research team is extremely grateful to all the households that welcomed the research teams in their homes and shared detailed information about the events and struggles of their lives. For protection reasons, the pictures and names of the households have not been shared in the report. Meeting poor households was made possible by the active support of key informants at governorate level, especially, Mada in Akkar, Amel Association in Beirut, Intersos in Nabatieh and Children of Al Jalil Centre in Beka’a  and local Oxfam staff in Tripoli. We are also grateful to our informants who remain anonymous and to Yara Traboulsi, Khalil Hariri, and Fatima Hoballah for assisting with secondary literature review. The openness with which colleagues in Ministry of Social Affairs and some of the Social Development Centres welcomed the research team and provided all possible information deserves a special mention. The active participation of the local civil society in discussing the preliminary results has helped greatly in shaping the final chapter of this report. Lastly, we would like to thank Oxfam for the generous support and in particular the drivers who demonstrated immense patience in dealing with our requests. This publication was made possible by a collaboration between Oxfam and the Social Justice and Development Policy Program and the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut. The Social Justice and Development Policy in the Arab World Program at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs is a collaboration with the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice at Princeton University, and is funded by the Elmer and Mamdouha S. Bobst Foundation in New York. Research team Primary information collection Nupur Kukrety Rachel Eichholz Mohamad Younis Mohamad Saleh Yasser Haydarie Bilal Hawsey Rana Makki Mohammad Hodieb Naji Salim Abdulrazek Secondary information analysis Sara Al-Jamal Leila Kabalan Rami Khouri Fawwaz Traboulsi  3 | Page List of Abbreviations AUB American University of Beirut CDR Council for Development and Reconstruction CSO Civil Society Organization E-card Electronic card ENPTP Emergency National Poverty Targeting Programme ESFD Economic and Social Fund for Development ESI End of Service Indemnity ESPISP Second Emergency Social Protection Implementation Support Project EU European Union GoL Government of Lebanon HEA Household Economy Approach IFI Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs IMC Inter-Ministerial Committee IRFED Institut de rechercheet de formation envue LCRP Lebanon Crisis Response Plan LHCSP Lebanon Host Community Support Program MEHE Ministry of Education and Higher Education MENA Middle East and North Africa MoA Ministry of Agriculture MoET Ministry of Economy and Trade MoEW Ministry of Energy and Water MoF Ministry of Finance MoIM Ministry of Interior and Municipalities MoL Ministry of Labour MoPH Ministry of Public Health MoSA Ministry of Social Affairs NGO Non-Governmental Organization NPTP National Poverty Targeting Programme NSDSL National Social Development Strategy of Lebanon NSSF National Social Security Fund NSSS National Social Security System OMR Optical Marking Recognition PMT Proxy Means Testing PHC Primary Health Centre PRL Palestine Refugees in Lebanon PRS Palestine Refugees from Syria PWD Person with Disability SAP Social Action Plan SDC Social Development Centre SI Social Inspector SGBV Sexual and Gender Based Violence UN United Nations UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund  UNRWA United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East VASyR Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon WASH Water, Sanitation and Hygiene WB World Bank WFP World Food Programme WHO World Health Organization  4 | Page Table of Contents  1.Introduction:.. ........................................................................ ......................................................................51.1 Purpose of the study: .............................................................................................................................. 5 1.2 Research questions: ................................................................................................................................ 5 1.3 Methodology: ......................................................................................................................................... 5 1.4 Audience for this research: ..................................................................................................................... 7 2.Poverty and Inequality in Lebanon : Indicators and perceptions ................................................................ 72.1 What is poverty and inequality: .............................................................................................................. 7 2.2 People’s percept ions on the characteristics of poor Lebanese .............................................................. 8 2.3 Vulnerability and Poverty among Syrian and Palestine Refugees .......................................................... 9 3.Poor househol ds’ experience of poverty in Lebanon/ How do the poor survive? .................................... 103.1 Household economy of the poor: ......................................................................................................... 10 3.2 Coping strategies: ................................................................................................................................. 13 3.2.1. Multiple source credit .................................................................................................................... 13 3.2.2 Reducing expenditure ..................................................................................................................... 14 3.2.3 Other strategies used mainly by refugee households .................................................................... 15 3.3 Social inequalities ................................................................................................................................ 15 3.3.1 Gender: ........................................................................................................................................... 15 3.3.2 Legal status in Lebanon .................................................................................................................. 16 4.Formal and informal support mechanisms for the poor in Lebanon ........................................................ 184.1 Formal support mechanisms for Lebanese & poor household’s access to them  ................................. 18 4.1.1 The(Emergency) National Poverty Targeting Programme............................................................... 18 4.1.2 The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) ........................................................................................ 20 4.1.3 Social services linked to social protection: ...................................................................................... 21 4.1.4 Poor h ousehold’s access to social assistance, social insurance and social services  ........................ 21 4.2 Formal support mechanism for refugees in Lebanon........................................................................... 23 4.2.1 Food Assistance Programme .......................................................................................................... 23 4.2.2 Shelter Assistance Programmes ..................................................................................................... 24 4.2.3 Social Safety Net Programme for Palestine refugees in Lebanon (PRL) ......................................... 24 4.2.4 Social Services for the refugees ...................................................................................................... 24 4.2.5 Access of refugee households to formal support system in Lebanon ............................................ 24 4.3 Informal support system for Lebanese poor and Refugee households: .............................................. 25 5.Conclusion and Recommendations: .......................................................................................................... 265.1 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 26 5.2 Recommendations ................................................................................................................................ 28 5.2.1 Recommendations for the Government of Lebanon ..................................................................... 28 5.2.2 Recommendations for the civil society organisations, including Oxfam ........................................ 29 5.2.3 Recommendations for the Donors and UN agencies ..................................................................... 29 Annex 1: References ........................................................................................................................................ 31 Annex 2: Research design - Poverty, Inequality and Social Protection in Lebanon ........................................ 33 Annex 3: Challenges and limitations: .............................................................................................................. 37 Annex 4: Different meanings of poverty ......................................................................................................... 37 Annex 5: Poverty and inequality measurement in Lebanon, 1961-2014 ........................................................ 38 Annex 6 : Life of a 7 member household in Nabatieh since 2010 .................................................................... 39 Annex 7: Case study on change in income and expenditure of a Lebanese poor household in Beka’a  ......... 40 Annex 8: Case of a Lebanese woman head of household in Nabatieh ........................................................... 40 Annex 9: Case of an all woman PRS household in Tripoli ................................................................................ 42 Annex 10: Case of a Syrian refugee household in Akkar .................................................................................. 42 Annex 11: Potential support a social protection floor can offer to a poor household in Lebanon .................. 44 Annex 12: Endnotes .......................................................................................................................................... 46
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