The United Nations is set to decrease cash assistance to refugee families in Lebanon by nearly one-third in 2024 due to a significant funding shortfall.
UNHCR spokesperson, Lisa Abou Khaled, announced that 88,000 fewer families will receive monthly aid next year compared to 2023. However, around 190,000 families will still get support, with a cap of $125 per household monthly.
Previously, additional aid was provided during winter for heating, but this will be discontinued. Lebanon, grappling with a financial crisis since 2019, shelters approximately 790,000 registered Syrian refugees.
Notably, 90% of these refugees live below the extreme poverty line. The ongoing Syrian civil war has resulted in significant displacement and casualties. Meanwhile, UNHCR’s Lebanon office has only secured 36% of its annual budget this year, leading to staff and program reductions.
Earlier, the U.N. also cut aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan due to funding issues. Amidst Lebanon’s economic challenges, there have been calls for the return of Syrians, with claims of safety in Syria.
However, human rights groups have reported instances of returning refugees facing detention and torture. In the last year, the Lebanese Army has deported several Syrians, including registered refugees.