With the shift from a state of emergency into a state of protracted crisis in Syria, the humanitarian response in Lebanon ought to take a strategic turn. Funding spontaneous and sporadic humanitarian initiatives, though a necessity at the beginning of the crisis, is no longer an option in 2015.
We call upon the international community to reconsider its approach towards the relief of the impact of this crisis in the region. Resources are scarce and ought to be directed strategically, after careful deliberations with national authorities. Priorities ought to be set at the government level instead of being driven by calls for funding emanating solely from UN agencies and NGOs.
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) is the primary national authority in the health sector in Lebanon and will, as such, assume its leadership role in coordinating health response efforts and guiding them in the direction which best fits the national strategy.
This strategy, henceforth the Health Response Strategy (HRS), serves two interdependent strategic objectives:
To respond to the essential health needs (primary, secondary and tertiary care) of the displaced Syrians and host community; and
To strengthen national institutions and capacities to enhance the resilience of the health system.
We plead the international community to reorganize its aid and efforts to serve this strategy.