WFP: Incomes of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Mostly Affected by COVID-19 and Economic Crisis

By Ahmad Karakira

The income of 66 per cent of Syrians living in Lebanon was reduced over the past year. This is due to the economic crisis that Lebanon is facing in addition to COVID-19 ramifications.

A report published in June 2020 by the World Food Programme (WFP) about the “Impact of the Economic and COVID-19 Crises in Lebanon”, showed that the income of 62 per cent of Lebanese and Palestinian refugees were also reduced.

According to WFP’s report, the harsh economic situation has led 10 and 11 per cent of Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians in Lebanon to shift to other sources of income to rebalance what they’ve lost.

Source: World Food Programme Report (June, 2020)

The rise of the amount of Lebanese liras against US dollars and the increasing prices of salaries and goods also caused the many Lebanese citizens to lose their jobs since the start of the pandemic compared to jobs lost prior COVID-19. Restaurants and services sector was the most affected in terms of jobs lost, where 42 per cent have lost their jobs there, followed by 36 per cent in constructions sector, showed the report.

Source: World Food Programme Report (June, 2020)

In terms of unemployment, according to a report published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) about a survey on “Labour Force and
Household Living Conditions”
, Lebanon as a whole faces an unemployment rate of 11.4 per cent from 2019. Governorates wise, Minieh-Danniyeh scores the highest unemployment rate in Lebanon, 17.8 per cent, while Matn scores the least with 7.1 per cent.

Source: International Labour Organization (2019)

With around 30 per cent of the labour force in Lebanon unemployed and 55 per cent of the population living in poverty, the upcoming Lebanese government or governments have a role in pulling-out the country’s economy from down “the hell” that President Michel Aoun mentioned few weeks earlier, and set alternative economic policies that can predict hope for the Lebanese.

References:

Collard, R. (2020, March 13). Lebanon’s ‘two crises’: coronavirus and financial collapse. The World. https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-03-13/lebanon-s-two-crises-coronavirus-and-financial-collapse

International Labour Organization. (n.d.). Labour Force and
Household Living Conditions Survey (LFHLCS).
https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---arabstates/---ro-beirut/documents/publication/wcms_732567.pdf

Reuters Staff. (2020, October 21). Factbox: Lebanon’s spiralling economic crisis. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lebanon-crisis-factbox-idUSKBN2761M1

World Food Programme. (2020, June). Assessing the Impact of the Economic and COVID-19 Crises in Lebanon. https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/WFP 0000116784.pdf