Emergency Food Assistance, Protection, and Livelihood Support for Vulnerable Populations in and around Syria
Over eight years of civil war has decimated Syria, prompting widespread displacement within the country itself and across the region, including Lebanon. Within Syria, the situation continues to evolve as there is a mix of new displacement with relative stability, and a level of return to cities in government-controlled areas. According to the 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview, 6.1 million Syrians are now internally displaced while 5.1 million are refugees in neighboring countries. While the total number of refugees residing in Lebanon is unknown, estimates are around 1.5 million people, approximately 20% of the total population. For this reason, Mission East decided to commence operations in both countries in 2019.
The overarching objective of this project is to reduce food insecurity, protection concerns, and reliance on humanitarian assistance for conflict affected populations within and around Syria. The specific objectives of this project are:
- Enhanced food security and hygiene protection for at-risk populations
- Protection concerns of female Syrian refugees and Lebanese host community members in Lebanon are addressed through training and legal assistance;
- Reduced dependence on humanitarian assistance among Syrian returnees and stayees through improved urban and rural livelihoods
Mission East will respond to the immediate food and hygiene needs of vulnerable crisis-affected households in Syria during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to this, Mission East and partner organization, Dorcas International, are working with a local Syrian NGO, to support farmers and business owners in and around Homs. Mission East is supporting approximately 100 farmers with a grant to purchase farm inputs and machinery, and connecting them to markets inside Homs City. Within the city, partners are providing grants to 107 former successful businesses owners who have lost their livelihoods. With this grant, business owners will submit a business plan for recovery and the items needed to restore their businesses. The project will also run a vocational training program for female breadwinners, disabled, and youth to learn a new skill. A 3-month apprenticeship scheme will also be run with targeted beneficiaries in Aleppo to enable them to obtain on-the-job training and providing free skilled labour to selected business owners.
Mission East and Tabitha have already registered approximately 300 women for skills and life skills training programs in two community centers in Aley (Mount Lebanon) and Batroun (North Lebanon). These women are Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese host community members. The designated skills courses are:
- Computer skills
Within all of these courses, women will spend 30% of their time in life skills trainings, covering a range of topics such as: sexual and reproductive health, human rights, women’s empowerment, health and hygiene, first aid, and caregiving.
Finally, Mission East and Tabitha are partnering with a local Lebanese NGO to provide legal support to both Lebanese and refugees. This includes those in detention and those in need of legal documentation such as birth registrations and marriage certificates. The project aims to support 400 individuals with legal assistance.