The United Nations (UN) held a press conference on Thursday to discuss the extension of Lebanon’s Emergency Response Plan (EPR) and increasing humanitarian aid and assistance.
According to UN Resident and Lebanon’s Humanitarian Coordinator Najat Rochdi, the UN will allocate an additional $163 million for humanitarian aid, bringing the total of the EPR to $546 million by the end of December 2022.
“The revised ERP will provide life-saving humanitarian support to 1 million vulnerable Lebanese, Palestine refugees, and migrants affected by the ongoing crisis,” said Rochdi.
The EPR was launched in August 2021 and has provided assistance to people in need of basic necessities, such as food, clean water, and healthcare.
Rochdi addressed the numerous crises the country is currently undergoing; the devaluation of the Lira, the sharp rise in inflation, and the skyrocketing food and fuel prices that have resulted from the war in Ukraine.
The World Bank estimates that Lebanon’s real GDP is expected to drop by 6.5 percent in 2022.
The country’s unemployment rate has increased from 11.4 percent in 2018-2019 to 29.6 percent this year, and the minimum monthly wage is currently less than $25.
“Despite the scale and magnitude of the hardships, I personally see this crisis as an opportunity to build forward better, and to unlock the potential that this country has in the path of development and recovery. Humanitarian assistance alone is not the solution, and the only path is reform and sustainable development,” said Rochdi.