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UN Women and partners provide immediate relief to women and girls impacted by the Beirut blasts

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17 Aug 2020
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UN Women and partners provide immediate relief to women and girls impacted by the Beirut blasts

UN Women and partners provide immediate relief to women and girls impacted by the Beirut blasts

14 August 2020

Reeling from the deep economic crisis, COVID-19, and now the blasts, Lebanon needs women at the centre of recovery plans.

UN Women, along with its partners in Lebanon and the United Nations, has shifted its programmes and expertise to provide immediate relief to women and girls. Through its partners, the majority of whom are women-led national organizations, UN Women has provided immediate protection and psychosocial assistance to those affected and supported the distribution of what they need most in the short-term: food and cash. A rapid gender assessment of needs, as part of a broader UN humanitarian action, is underway with Care International and Abaad, a national NGO.

Sexual violence often rises after the crisis. To address this effectively UN Women is working with a host of partners. As part of the Inter-Agency Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Response Plan co-led by the UN, international and national partners, UN Women, together with humanitarian agencies in the country, is preparing to support safety audits in neighbourhoods and deploy mobile teams of gender-based violence experts to distribute essential items for women and girls. The Response Plan also includes the identification of women and girls who need specialized services and psychological support.

The Beirut blast adds to compounded crises that Lebanon has been experiencing since the financial and economic crisis of 2019, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic that started in March 2020. The COVID-19 crisis led to rising cases of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women across the world. In Lebanon, one assessment found that up to 54 percent of respondents had observed an increase of harassment, violence, or abuse against other women and girls in their household or their communities. Ensuring that women have access to support and services, as well as information on how to access such support, is crucial.

The economic crisis in Lebanon, deepened by COVID-19 and now the Beirut blasts, is estimated to reduce women’s participation in the economy by 14 to 19 percent. The implications are particularly bleak for a country with the high gender gap, and with one of the lowest rates of women’s labour force participation. These inequalities are echoed in refugee and migrant communities across the formal and informal labor market in Lebanon.

In the aftermath of the crisis, UN Women is scaling up its resilience and recovery programming in Lebanon, while also strengthening its work on women’s leadership and peace and security – key factors for stability in the country and the region.

UN Women has five programmes in Lebanon, funded by the Governments of Croatia, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Sweden, the Ford Foundation, the Rebecca Dykes Foundation, the UN SDG Fund, and the UN Human Security Trust Fund. The programmes have pivoted their focus to addressing Lebanon’s economic crisis and COVID-19, and are now adapting to also support the longer-term recovery of those impacted by the Beirut blast.

Original source: UN Women

SOURCE: DEVELOPMENT AID

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