Lebanon Employment and Infrastructure Programme (LEIP)

Creating decent work opportunities for Syrian refugees and host communities through infrastructure improvement in Lebanon.

By 2017, a total of over 1 million registered Syrian refugees resided in Lebanon, or about a quarter of Lebanon’s estimated 4.3 million native residents. This substantial influx has severely affected the country’s socioeconomic situation and has resulted in unprecedented restrictions on Syrians entering Lebanon since late 2014. In particularly, labour market challenges such as unemployment, informal labour and vulnerability to workplace exploitation have all been exacerbated by the refugee crisis. Prior to the refugee crisis, infrastructure in Lebanon was already substandard; however, since the influx of refugees suffered public infrastructure such as roads, waste management systems, electricity grids, schools and healthcare facilities have come under an unprecedented amount of pressure.

In response, the ILO and the United Nations Development Programme have partnered up with Lebanon’s Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs to launch a project which formally employs Lebanese and Syrian workers to build much-needed infrastructure projects in areas hosting the majority of Syrian refugees. The project will adopt the ILO’s Employment Intensive Investment Programme (EIIP) approach which will generate an estimated 6,000 short-term jobs, resulting in 227,500 worker days for both Lebanese and Syrian nationals. The EIIP will be integrated with the UNDP-led Lebanon Host Communities Support Programme (LHSP), which targets the Lebanese communities most vulnerable to tension and conflict due influx of Syrian refugees.

Depending on the availability of funding, the project is expected to be implemented in three phases over a period of 30 months. The project falls under the livelihoods segment of the Government-led Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2017-2020 and is aligned with the United Nations Strategic Framework for Lebanon 2017-2020.

Objectives

  • Improve access to decent employment for Lebanese host community members and Syrian refugees; and
  • improve infrastructure and public assets for Lebanon;
  • enhance the capacity of Lebanon’s Ministry of Labour to facilitate the implementation of employment-intensive programs as well as issuance of work permits; and
  • strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Social Affairs to institutionalise labour-intensive employment approaches for Lebanese host communities and Syrian refugees.

Main Activities

  • Create mid- to long-term job opportunities for Lebanese, particularly skilled labour in the construction sector; and
  • create temporary semi-skilled work opportunities for Lebanese job-seekers and Syrian refugees.

Outcomes

  • Enhanced livelihoods and living conditions for Syrian refugees and Lebanese is the main result of the project;
  • new jobs have a positive impact on poverty-reduction, increased purchasing power and reduce dependence on humanitarian aid; and
  • employment opportunities for both refugees and host community members will ease the tensions between and within the labour force as well as prevent negative attitudes towards refugees.