NNA - In light of the deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon, data from needs assessment studies conducted by organizations revealed that 3.3 million people are in need (LCRP, 2022). In fact, 2.2 million people in Lebanon, including the Lebanese, migrants, and PRL/PRS are facing food insecurities, 393,000 are facing Gender Based Violence, 334,000 need child protection and 172,000 need access to education (Increasing Humanitarian Needs in Lebanon, OCHA, 2022)
However, as none of these studies reflect the needs of adolescents and youth, particularly young girls and women, Plan International Lebanon conducted a detailed needs assessment and gender analysis to complement the existing research.
The assessment focused on collecting data about the issues faced by the youth in education, livelihoods, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and protection, in six specific geographic areas (Akkar, Tripoli, Arsal, Mount Lebanon, Beirut, and Saida), revealed worrying findings.
According to the study, adolescent girls and young women are facing common barriers related to education and livelihoods, as well as access to protection and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services.
Precisely, early and forced marriage and gender-based violence are the most reported protection issues by girls and young women, whereas substance abuse and engaging in political conflicts are the highest among boys and young men. Lebanese in Arsal and Syrian refugees across the country expressed being subjected to discrimination resulting in security and psychological implications in addition to limiting education and livelihood opportunities. It is also significant that all participants in the assessment expressed rising fears related to security and safety.
Troubling input from the majority of participants also revealed that, in addition to the financial situation of the household, protection risks, particularly bullying at school and early marriage are the main barriers to continuing education.
“My brother had to drop out of school in order to work in a stone quarry because we needed the money, and if we need more, I will leave school and help my family with the expenses.”
– Arsal, Lebanese woman, 14-17 years old.
“The deteriorating multi-layered economic crisis is affecting everyone in Lebanon, especially the youth, putting them at great risk of exploitation and abuse. We need to pay closer attention to understand and urgently address their unique needs”, Safo Visha, Country Director of Plan International Lebanon.
In light of these findings, Plan International Lebanon calls upon the national and international community to provide urgent support to youth-focused programming and prioritize the specific and unique needs of young girls and boys in any policies, budgeting, and programming.
The launch of the needs assessment study was supported with a social media campaign on Plan International Lebanon’s Facebook and Instagram pages, titled “Fhamouna Sa7”, to raise awareness about the issues that are faced by the youth, present the data of the study, and recommendations to address these issues.