The ongoing economic crisis in Lebanon and the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown measures left many families without an income. The increased pressure on housing stock and living space continues to place a huge financial burden on families who struggle to keep up with the inflated prices in terms of rent and basic needs. This makes programmes such as PCPM’s cash assistance significant for preventing evictions and allowing the most vulnerable families to live in dignified conditions. This programme funded by Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) is a helping hand for hundreds of Lebanese and refugee families in response to the deteriorating conditions people are suffering in Lebanon.
Cash for Rent – support for the most vulnerable families in rental costs
The programme is primarily benefiting families with rented household units for the purpose of being able to cover the rent burden for the period of four months. The identification of cases was done through the interagency referral mechanism and PCPM outreach activities.
– We use multiple sources of information to determine the eligibility for cash assistance which includes data from other partners and also conducting interviews with our beneficiaries – said Marina Antoun, PCPM employee leading the activity in Akkar.
In total, 202 households – Lebanese and refugees (Syrian and Iraqi) – in Akkar and Bourj Hammoud (Beirut area) benefited from the monthly cash transfers. “At least we have a suitable shelter to live in without being afraid of sleeping on the streets.” said Karim, a beneficiary benefiting from the assistance. – The assistance gave the families the opportunity to attend to other basic needs apart from the rent burden while giving them a sense of security and peace – added Eliette Abboud, PCPM Programme Officer.
PCPM has been implementing the Cash for Rent programme in Lebanon since 2012 and is constantly monitoring its progress, adjusting the support mechanism and modalities.
Emergency Cash Assistance – one-time assistance to persons who experienced unexpected shock
Following the Beirut port explosion that tore the city apart on the 4th of August 2020, PCPM through Taiwan ICDF fund has launched the Emergency Cash Assistance (ECA) project. The project is not limited to Beirut area only, it also reached Akkar and Bekaa regions in Northern Lebanon.
The multifaceted crisis Lebanon is experiencing has left many families in a dire situation. Families lost their homes, possessions and livelihoods, which left children and vulnerable families at a greater protection risk.
The purpose of this assistance is to give households an opportunity to positively cope with a shock situation. This includes unforeseen hardships, an accident, emergency or shock situation that significantly affected the family’s current ability to cover basic needs. In the Beirut area, the assistance was provided for people affected by the Beirut port explosion in the poorest, priority areas of Greater Beirut including Bourj Hammoud.
PCPM believes that these households should be given the opportunity to prioritise their specific needs and, through its Emergency Cash Assistance, PCPM seeks to promote the wellbeing of these families and groups. Each family receives a one-off payment of the equivalent to USD 200, which they can spend according to their needs, for things they consider a top priority.
– With the current situation, not only us but everyone needs support – said Loulou, a member of the family that tried fleeing the country to Cyprus and got stuck in the sea for seven days which resulted in many deaths including a family member of Loulou’s. – We used the little savings we had in order to leave, but we ended up again in the same place but in worse conditions. This assistance will at least give us the chance to get some food and water again. We thank you – Loulou added. The assistance has been provided to 200 families in several regions of Lebanon.