For Immediate Release
October 20, 2020
AVSI-USA Communications and Outreach Manager, Roberta Alves
Community-based protective face mask production through Cash for Work in Marjayoun and Hasbaya, Lebanon
Washington DC | On September 1, 2020, AVSI Lebanon began the implementation of the project “Community-based protective face mask production through Cash for Work activities in Marjayoun and Hasbaya” with funding from the United States government through the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).
Present in Lebanon since 1996, AVSI implements emergency and development programs for vulnerable Lebanese and refugees. AVSI Lebanon has worked with over 50 international and local partners in sectors such as Education, Agriculture, Job Creation and Assistance in Informal Tented Settlements (ITSs) and is very excited to partner with PRM for the first time in Lebanon.
AVSI looks forward to working together with PRM in an effort to protect and assist refugees and the most vulnerable communities in Lebanon.
Lebanon hosts the highest number of displaced persons per capita worldwide, with 1.5 million Syrians, 27,700 Palestinians from Syria, and 180,000 Palestinian refugees from Lebanon. It is estimated that about 3.3 million people need assistance in the country, including 1.5 million vulnerable Lebanese and refugees. Since October 2019, Lebanon has experienced a severe economic and financial crisis that led to the loss of around 220,000 jobs, increasing the inflation rate to 11.4%.
The shutdown due to COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on local markets. Marjayoun and Hasbaya in the South of the country are amongst the most vulnerable regions of Lebanon. The area hosts more than 114 Informal Tented Settlements (ITSs) with approximately 6,717 people. People’s vulnerability in the areas has increased dramatically since restrictions on mobility were applied due to COVID-19. On average, each ITS has 155 units. 90% of beneficiaries live in a crowded space, representing a significant risk factor in a pandemic outbreak and requires urgent rehabilitation support.
The intervention will mitigate the health, social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable individuals in Marjayoun and Hasbaya, including Syrian refugees, by improving access to protective face masks while also building technical skills and income. The project builds on AVSI’s extensive experience in Lebanon in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programs, with Cash for Work and on-the-job training approaches for youth and adults.
This is an emergency project that will run for six months. The intervention will: create a rapid income generating opportunities focusing on COVID 19 prevention and increase the availability of protective masks for COVID response in the local communities.
The project will have 129 direct beneficiaries (93 refugees and 36 host community) and 774 indirect beneficiaries.