From September 2020 to March 2021, AVSI Lebanon implements the project “Community-based protective face mask production through Cash for Work activities in Marjayoun and Hasbaya”, in partnerships with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).
The project aims to mitigate the health, social and economic impact 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 building technical skills and income.
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 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.
“Community-based protective face mask production through Cash for Work activities in Marjayoun and Hasbaya” is an emergency project that will run for six months (September 2020-March 2021) and reach 129 direct beneficiaries (93 Refugees and 36 Host Community) and 774 indirect beneficiaries. The intervention will:
- create rapid income-generating opportunities focusing on COVID 19 prevention
- increase the availability of protective masks for COVID response in the local communities