CSP Launches Economic Support to 130 Lebanese People with Disabilities
The ongoing economic crisis that hit Lebanon in 2019, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Beirut Port explosion in August of 2020, plunged 80% of residents into poverty, led to widespread unemployment and limited access to basic services for a significant portion of the population. People with disabilities specifically are considered among the most disadvantaged in Lebanon, with their unemployment estimated at 85% by the United Nations in 2020.
In response, the USAID-funded Community Support Program (CSP), in partnership with local NGO Arcenciel, is providing 130 people with disabilities across Lebanon with part-time income generating opportunities over a three-month period at private sector businesses, USAID implementing partners, or at Arcenciel centers. Each person will receive $12/day in wages throughout their temporary employment, while gaining unique skills, talents, and expertise that can contribute significantly to their personal development, allowing employers to focus on their ability instead of disabilities.
On October 4, 2023, CSP and Arcenciel officially launched this intervention and started outreach preparations to identify 130 people with disabilities and start placing them in part-time jobs no later than December 2023. This activity, is not only enhancing the livelihoods of marginalized groups, but it is also in line with National Disability Employment Awareness month which takes place each October to encourage employers in the U.S. to embrace diversity, create inclusive environments, and demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and equality.
“By empowering people with disabilities through income generating opportunities, we are not only providing economic assistance, but we are unlocking potentials, breaking down stigmas about their abilities to perform, and highlighting that disability is never a barrier to independency, self-sufficiency and working ability”, said Laudy Hakim, Employment Program Manager at Arcenciel.