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For Inclusive and Fair Covid-19 Socio-Economic Recovery Measures in Lebanon: Synthesis Report

Dagher, Leila and abboud, ali and sidani, ola and Abi Younes, Oussama (2022): For Inclusive and Fair Covid-19 Socio-Economic Recovery Measures in Lebanon: Synthesis Report.

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In many countries, early, large, and sustained policy responses to the pandemic were successful in protecting families. However, the Government of Lebanon’s response to COVID-19 and the simultaneous crises the country is experiencing, in terms of socio-economic recovery measures has been very limited, if not absent. Led by the American University of Beirut (AUB) and supported by Oxfam, the project “For Inclusive and Fair COVID-19 Socio-Economic Recovery Measures in Lebanon,” investigates the impact of the pandemic and concurring crises on the employment and living conditions of the urban informal sector in Lebanon. The informal sector makes up a significant portion of the Lebanese economy (54% of the labor force before the start of the crisis). Furthermore, the project evaluates the government’s response to both the health and economic challenges posed by the crises. The field work shows that the pandemic led to significant loss of employment and income among the population of interest. Household living conditions deteriorated drastically, leading the majority of households to resort to negative coping mechanisms. Government intervention was limited in scope and impact and failed to alleviate the daily hardships faced by the vulnerable population. Finally, we conclude with a series of short- and long-term policy recommendations that build on the evidence provided in this research work as well as lessons learned.

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