USAID’s Community Support Program Provides Temporary Job Opportunities to 101 People with Disabilities in Lebanon
The ongoing economic crisis that has 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, and led to widespread unemployment. People with disabilities specifically are considered among the most disadvantaged in Lebanon, with their unemployment estimated at 85% by the United Nations in 2020. The Government of Lebanon’s inability to prioritize disability inclusion further places people with disabilities at significant risk of being deprived of their basic rights.
In response, in October 2023, CSP, in partnership with local NGO Arcenciel, launched an activity, aiming to provide 130 people with disabilities across Lebanon with temporary work opportunities over a three-month period at private sector businesses, Arcenciel centers, and USAID implementing partners. By February 8, 2024, 101 people have been placed in temporary jobs (51 Beirut and Mount Lebanon / 20 North / 30 Beqaa) with a daily wage of $22.
To contribute to the sustainability of disability inclusion, CSP is also supporting Arcenciel on developing a job placement policy for people with disabilities at private sector firms in Lebanon, in addition to facilitating a comprehensive training of trainers’ program for relevant Arcenciel staff members on job readiness and skill development. This activity is not only enhancing the livelihoods of marginalized people – like Emma Maria Younes who is currently working as a part-time bag designer at La Boutique, Arcenciel – but encouraging employers to embrace diversity and create inclusive environments.
“Emma Maria demonstrates remarkable dedication and passion. Her commitment to her craft shines through and her art is enhancing our upcycled items, bringing a distinctive touch to our initiatives”, said Feyrouz Hatoum, La Boutique – Arcenciel Manager.