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The scale and duration of the Syrian crisis’ effects in Lebanon lead the actors of international assistance to operate a transition from humanitarian to development interventions. The French Development Agency, in collaboration with the Center for Mediterranean Integration, and with the support of the National Mental Health Program, have then organized in Beirut, on December 19, 2017, a stock-taking workshop on “the Psychosocial response to vulnerable population’s needs in Lebanon”.
Although this first workshop mainly focused on Lebanon, experiences from the region (Jordan, Iraq and Turkey) were shared in order to put the Lebanese experience in a regional perspective.
The workshop’s objectives were, through sharing of experiences and perspectives between Ministries, NGOs and donors, to identify major issues for future psychosocial programs, and to reach shared conclusions to sketch ways of improvement.
The event was attended by 60 participants from Ministries, donors, UN agencies, local and international NGOs. In the roundtable dedicated to the regional dimension, directly organized by the CMI, the workshop benefited from the presence of Francoise Ghorayeb - Head of Programs South and Central Iraq, UNFPA, Claire Withney - Regional Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Advisor - Middle East, International Medical Corps, Amman, and Manuel De Lara - Public health officer, WHO office Gaziantep, as well as 4 TTLs or project officers from AFD and the World Bank. All participants provided many significant and valuable contributions during the discussions.
Important conclusions for the future were issued including the urgent needs of scaling-up of MHPSS services to address the unmet needs, of strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus and transition to ensure sustainable national systems, and of building a strong referral system because the inability for persons at risk to access care in a timely manner is a source of distress for these persons, their families and the front-liners. On a regional aspect, MOPH Lebanon affirmed it is ready to support other countries in the region, through for example sharing of practices and trainers.