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ITALIAN AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIONLebanon and SyriaBeirut Office

AGENZIA ITALIANA PER LA COOPERAZIONE ALLO SVILUPPO  - Libano e Siria - Sede di Beirut | – ITALIAN AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION - Lebanon and Syria - Beirut Office Ambasciata d'Italia a Beirut European Union Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Lebanon

Social Affairs

Social Affairs

The welfare system in Lebanon strictly covers the refund of some medical expenses, social retirement and family allowances – unemployment compensation, accidents or freelance jobs are not part of the social services plans. The informal "networks” for social security, based on community and religious ties, regularly substitute the public system, thus the private sector is free to manage the health and education sectors.

The massive influx of refugees coming from Syria contributed to weakening the insufficient resources that were used to cover the needs of the most vulnerable groups of the population. The support delivered through the different initiatives implemented by the Cooperation in the social field became more crucial.

The "stabilization” of the existing services aiming to allow a commensurate access to a wider number of users requests a significant increase of the public budget. The poverty is increasing; 140.000 new poor Lebanese are registered as per the data published at the end of year 2014. The incompetence of the social structures is at the origin of tension between the Syrian and Lebanese communities, the outbreak of diseases and the epidemic risk, the drop-out of students and causing consequently a phenomena of child labor and child abuse, the deterioration of the hygiene conditions and of the access to the fundamental social infrastructure (water, drainage system, electricity). Therefore, the social sector assumes an important role as a main counterpart of donors active in the context of development aid in Lebanon.

The official documents exchanged with the three concerned Lebanese Ministries (Social Affairs, Education and Health) regarding their priorities show that focus should cover the following areas:

- Fight against poverty/vulnerability;

- Enlargement of retirement plans and unemployment funds;

- Expand the guarantees of health refund;

- Childhood protection;

- Promotion of gender equality;

- Introduction of new technologies into public education;

- Growth of the "vocational training” sector;

- Develop the network of First Aid Centers and improvement of health governance plans (data, computerization, therapies, prevention, HR).