Government of Australia partners with UN Women to scale up support to women and girls in need in Lebanon
Beirut, 20 June 2022— The Government of Australia and UN Women in Lebanon have signed an agreement to provide $2.5m Australian Dollars to deliver humanitarian assistance to support vulnerable women of any nationality, and their families, to access emergency livelihood opportunities, while ensuring access to protection support and basic sanitary necessities.
Under this framework, more than 22,700 women and family members will be supported, and 38,000 sanitary products and hot meals will be distributed to those in need – seeking to both address in immediate terms, the urgent needs of people, while also investing in Lebanon’s productive sectors.
H.E. Australian Ambassador to Lebanon Andrew Barnes said “The Australian Government recognises the immense challenge that Lebanon has faced in recent years and especially the devastating effects of the economic and health crises on women and girls who have become more vulnerable. I am proud that Australia is supporting UN Women to deliver an emergency female-focused livelihoods and protection project, providing job opportunities for both Lebanese and refugee women. We hope that this project will help accelerate progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment in Lebanon.”
Lebanon’s economic, political and social crisis has resulted in an estimate of 74% of the population living below the poverty line as of March 2021. Resulting from decades of structural gender discrimination, women have been amongst the hardest hit by the crisis, experiencing disproportionately high levels of food insecurity and othered gendered impacts, including increased gender-based violence and dramatically increasing rates of period poverty. Syrian refugee households have become highly dependent on humanitarian aid, especially female headed households – with 57% of female-headed households recently reporting that their main source of income support was from humanitarian organizations.1 Moreover, Lebanon is expected to suffer from acute levels of period poverty with more than 700,000 women forecast to be unable to meet their most basic hygienic and safety needs that would preserve their dignity and livelihood.2
“We are grateful to the Government of Australia for its support and in recognizing and quickly responding to the urgent needs of women and girls in Lebanon”, remarked Ms. Rachel Dore-Weeks, Head of UN Women in Lebanon.
This collaboration which began in the month of April will run until December 2023.
Roula Rached, UN Women
2 Based on a poverty rate of 50% and 1.4 million Lebanese women using sanitary pads.