Government of Austria supports UN Women’s efforts to provide comprehensive livelihood and protection services to displaced women and girls in South Lebanon


Beirut, 19 March 2024 – The Government of Austria has contributed EUR 1,000,000 towards UN Women in Lebanon’s humanitarian efforts to support women and girls in South Lebanon impacted by the escalation in hostilities across the Blue Line.[1] The financial assistance will be channeled into a project implemented by UN Women to enhance the resilience, self-reliance and leadership in humanitarian action of internally displaced women through access to comprehensive livelihood and protection services.

The escalating exchange of fire at Lebanon’s southern border has led to the internal displacement of 90,859 residents of southern Lebanon (52 per cent female) as of 5 March 2024, and damaged private property, public infrastructure and agricultural land.[2] Women and girls are disproportionally affected by crises and experience higher levels of gender-based violence, with direct impacts on their livelihoods, skills development and access to critical services, including health and education, in addition to taking on increased care-related tasks, such as providing food and water and caring for the sick and children that are out of school doe the conflict.

Beginning in 2024 and extending until June 2025, the project will provide livelihood services to women through access to short-term paid employment in sustainable agriculture and food preparation as well as access to psychosocial support and referrals to essential services, such as protection from gender-based violence, as needed. The women will also contribute to the delivery of services to other women and vulnerable households in both displaced and host communities.

H.E. Ambassador of Austria to Lebanon, Rene Amry, underscored the importance of supporting conflict- affected women and girls: “The impact of conflict on women’s lives is shattering in every way imaginable. Through this project, we are aiming to lessen the blow by sowing seeds of hope and harvesting women’s empowerment, quite literally, through agriculture.”

Gielan El Messiri, UN Women Representative in Lebanon, said: “the project aims to address the pressing needs of displaced women and girls and host communities in South Lebanon, and to ensure that conflict-affected women receive gender-sensitive support and are actively engaged in the humanitarian response.”

Over 225 displaced women will receive income to rehabilitate government-owned agricultural lands in Tyre Governorate through cash-for-work and contribute to cooperatives producing processed food in collaboration with Amel Association. In addition, a plant nursery will be established to support displaced individuals who are mostly from farming backgrounds.

Furthermore, a community kitchen providing hot meals to over 1,800 vulnerable individuals in and around the Rachidieh Palestinian Refugee camp and employing 60 displaced women through cash-for-work will be established in collaboration with INITIATE.

Both partners will also be supported to offer protection services in the form of psychosocial support and protection from gender-based violence to over 600 displaced women and girls.

Media Contact:

Roula Rached, UN Women

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[1] The Blue Line, stretching for 120 km along Lebanon’s southern frontier, is a “line of withdrawal.” It was set by the United Nations in 2000 for the practical purpose of confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the south of Lebanon.

[2] Lebanon: Flash Update #13 - Escalation of hostilities in south Lebanon, 7 March 2024