Canada supports WFP Lebanon in expanding its assistance to vulnerable families through the national social safety net
Canada’s contribution will go towards supporting the most vulnerable families in Lebanon who are going through a daily struggle amidst one of the world’s worst financial crises. The contribution will also allow WFP to provide technical assistance to MoSA to boost social safety nets that have become critical to large segments of the society. Importantly, Canada’s funding will continue to enable WFP to provide practical training to social workers on gender which allows for mainstreaming gender and social inclusion in safety nets.
As Lebanon enters its fourth year of a severe financial crisis, increasing inflation and currency depreciation have pushed about 1.46 million Lebanese people into high levels of food insecurity and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
“Canada is committed to helping the most vulnerable Lebanese families cope with the on-going crises, including rising food insecurity, by securing their access to an inclusive and gender-responsive social safety net via our contribution to WFP. As part of Canada’s additional contribution, we expect government authorities to work with the relevant stakeholders to integrate the country’s existing social safety net programs, including by establishing a unified social registry,” says Her Excellency Stefanie McCollum, Ambassador of Canada to Lebanon.
In turn, the Minister of Social Affairs in the Caretaker Government, Dr. Hector Hajjar, expressed his thanks to the donor countries for supporting social assistance programmes in Lebanon, especially the National Poverty Targeting Programme (NPTP). NPTP was established in the Ministry of Social Affairs 12 years ago and is currently reaching about 75,000 families with fresh dollars monthly, implemented with technical support from the World Food Programme (WFP). Hajjar added: “Our goal is to lay the foundations for a national strategy for social protection with an automated and interdependent executive arm that extends to all the most vulnerable segments of society, and to work transparently with our local and international partners to achieve this goal. As for today, all thanks are due to Government of Canada and its people for this contribution to support the National Poverty Targeting Programme, and we urge the League of Arab States and foreign countries to stand by us in this ordeal.”
“We are grateful for the people and Government of Canada for their continuous support as it is a lifeline for families who are finding their purchasing power diminishing each day making it impossible to cope with inflation and high food prices,” says WFP Representative and Country Director in Lebanon Abdallah Alwardat. “We remain as committed as ever, during this critical time, to strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Social Affairs and strengthening together the social safety nets in the country.”
Since 2014, together with the Ministry of Social Affairs, WFP with the support of generous donors has been the backbone of sustaining the food assistance component of the National Poverty Targeting Programme (NPTP). Just last month, WFP reached 371,000 Lebanese through the NPTP.
Canada has been supportive of WFP’s work in Lebanon for many years. This new contribution brings Canada’s total support towards WFP assistance for vulnerable people in Lebanon via the National Poverty Targeting Program to US $33.65M.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.