Samusocial International in Lebanon

  Beirut, Lebanon – created in 2017

 

With a vulnerable population of nearly 1.5 million and a massive population of Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict, Lebanon is facing one of the largest humanitarian crises in its history. More than half of those affected by the crisis are urban children living in often undignified and miserable conditions; in Beirut, more and more of them are working or begging on the streets.

Since 2017 in Lebanon, Samusocial has been supporting its local partner, Amel Association International, in the implementation of a scheme to combat social exclusion in the Southern Suburbs of Beirut. The activities of taking care of the beneficiaries followed their course throughout the year 2021 with disruptions related to the pandemic of COVID-19 and the periods of confinement put in place in Lebanon. The Lebanese population was confronted with significant gasoline shortages and hyperinflation during the summer which did not spare the scheme. To compensate for this and the impossibility for the Mobile Outreach Team to travel to conduct outreach activities, the care activities were adapted during these periods in order to maintain the link of trust with the beneficiaries through regular telephone contacts.

The COVID-19 pandemic and gasoline shortages had a significant impact on the activities, but the adaptability of the Mobile Assistance Teams and the partnership between Amel and SamusocialInternational allowed us to maintain the outreach activities. Beyond the health crisis, Lebanon is also affected by an economic, social and political crisis that has caused the deterioration of the living conditions of the beneficiaries and the conditions of care provided by the EMA. The explosion of August 4th, 2020 had a strong psychological impact on beneficiaries and professionals, which continues to be felt today.

Activities:

Mobiles 2  Mobile Assistance Teams (EMA)

Amel Association International’s Mobile Assistance Team conducts outreach activities 5 days a week. The children and teenagers followed by the team spend the day on the street but live, for the most part, in their homes. The EMA therefore also makes home visits during its patrols. In addition to individual medical and psychosocial care and follow-up, the team carries out collective awareness-raising activities on the street. During the periods of confinement linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, the team was able to continue to follow up with the beneficiaries by setting up a telephone follow-up. In response to the Lebanese crisis, EMA also developed food parcel distribution activities for the most vulnerable families.

Orientation 2  Guidance and Integration assistance

Amel’s five medical and social centers in the EMA’s area of intervention were heavily mobilized for referral activities during the confinements, in particular to keep people in their care during the pandemic. More generally, referrals to other specialized institutions are an integral part of the system’s missions. This does not necessarily imply formalized partnerships through agreements, but collaboration in the daily work.

 Advocacy actions

The advocacy work is mainly carried out locally by Amel Association International, which is regularly in contact with the Lebanese Ministry of Health. Amel also participates in the Child Protection Working Group for the Beirut-Mount Lebanon region and at the national level. These working groups are facilitated by UNICEF.

 Support to partner associations

SamusocialInternational brings its expertise in mobile assistance intervention in urban areas. On the other hand, Amel Association has an existing operational mechanism, medical technical expertise and knowledge of Lebanese protection and assistance mechanisms. In addition, the programme is developing a humanitarian, national and international network of actors involved in the refugee crisis for immediate protection solutions in Lebanon. Close collaboration with UNHCR, IRC and the Makhzoumi Foundation (the main actors involved in the protection of street children in Beirut) is taking shape.

Key figures for 2023:

715 Beneficiaries of the action

238 Day and night outreach activities

3,226 Medical consultations/nursing care

1,619 Social interviews

1,208 Referrals to appropriate care services

More informations:

 

Contact : ls.sorlin@samu-social-international.com