Cash-for-Work Program to Aid Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Launches

Hundreds of Syrian families, and families from the strained host community in Lebanon, to benefit
Syrian girls
Syrian children like these will ultimately benefit from the new initiative. Photo: ACF-Lebanon, C. Gayo

Action Against Hunger has just launched a pioneering cash-for-work project in the towns of Tyre and Nabatieh, south Lebanon. The initiative is providing humanitarian assistance in the form of cash to about 400 unemployed Syrian refugees and host Lebanese, in exchange for labor. Lebanese make up about a third of this group, and the help is needed; hosting many thousands of Syrian refugees has taken a toll on Lebanon's resources and economy, where the refugees now comprise a full 25 percent of the population. While most jobs will involve manual labor and thus employ men, their entire families will benefit from the income they bring in.

"Assistance in the form of cash-for-work encourages the active participation of refugees, benefits the community, and involves local authorities. All of these factors help to ease tensions emerging between refugees and Lebanese."

Martina Iannizzotto, Head of Food Security Programs, Action Against Hunger, South Lebanon

The beneficiaries will get 15 € a day for 10 days of work per month, for up to three months. Participating men will work six hours per day. The project also provides for the possibility of offering grants to beneficiaries to start income-generating activities, like producing food to sell.

The project also includes the provision of cash grants to applicants who show high vulnerability, as in the case of single mothers or men over 60 who aren't able to perform strenuous manual labor.

Selected participants will work on local teams. Ayman Ibrahim Alghalal, our Head of Administration in Tyre, says "the selected teams will perform work that's needed in their towns, and the work will add value and infrastructure to those towns. " According to Ayman, since the refugees arrived, "the costs of public services in these areas have doubled, a reality that has also led to increased tensions in the communities." 

The first round of participant selection took place this past week in Tyre and Nabatieh. In Nabatieh alone, more than 70 applications were received in the first three days. We have high hopes for this project's success, and we thank the Humanitarian Action of the European Commission (ECHO) for the funding support to make it possible.

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About Elisabeth Anderson Rapport

Elisabeth Anderson Rapport, Senior Communications Officer

Elisabeth is Action Against Hunger's senior communications officer, reporting on our impact and current events around the world.