Working to alleviate poverty, hunger, and improving access to healthcare and clean water
Population: 10 Million
- high level of urbanization
- limited natural resources
UMR's Advancement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Lebanon
What is the situation in Lebanon?
Lebanon is an upper middle income country with a strong track record of investing its resources in social services and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. However, with a population of nearly 7 million , roughly 90% of whom are concentrated in urban areas , Lebanon does not have the resources to sustain its growing refugee population and high poverty rates alone. Circumstances were only worsened by the catastrophic explosions that erupted in Beirut in August 2020, as well as by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, when demand for social services increased dramatically.
Despite long-term development issues that Lebanon faces, its people suffer immediate needs that must be met. 45% of the Lebanese population lives below the national poverty line , and extreme poverty has increased by nearly 50% between 2019 and 2020, affecting an estimated 90% of Syrian refugees in the region . Half of the Syrian population in Lebanon faces food insecurity as well, and due to increased poverty and household vulnerability, demand for social services has increased rapidly. For example, physical and mental health care services (e.g., consultations, medications, vaccines) currently suffer a 53% funding gap, and small business loans (which make up the main source of income for vulnerable Lebanese and Syrians) are in short supply . Enraged and exhausted by the nation’s devastating economic downturn, Lebanese protesters have voiced their concerns through civil unrest since 2019, a movement known locally as the October Revolution.
What types of interventions does UMR implement?
Lebanon has several national priorities aligning with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including addressing poverty and food insecurity (SDGs 1 & 2), improving health and well-being (SDG 3), and building sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11). Read more about Lebanon’s SDG priority areas here.
To assist the Government of Lebanon reach its SDG targets and to support the people of Lebanon, UMR has implemented several programs targeting their most vulnerable communities:
- UMR has provided medical kits and beds for intensive care units supported by the Lebanese health system. Learn more about our medical shipments here.
- UMR also distributes food parcels to the Lebanese people and to refugees during Ramadan. Learn more about our food security projects here.
- After the catastrophic explosions in Beirut in August 2020, UMR ran an emergency fundraising campaign to provide medical kits to local hospitals that had quickly become overwhelmed with patients. Working alongside local NGOs, UMR worked to repair over 100 homes that had suffered damage by the blasts, installing panes of window glass and doors to help families regain some sense of security.