Overview & Purpose

This document aims to support Health sector partners to promote better gender equality in their
programming and to ensure that needs of the most vulnerable populations are meaningfully addressed
throughout the program cycle.

I. Health: Why does gender equality matter?

The multifaceted crisis hitting Lebanon has disrupted access to healthcare services across the country.
Access challenges are aggravated for vulnerable groups such as women of reproductive age, children
under five years of old, persons with disabilities, older people, individuals with chronic and/or catastrophic
illnesses, and displaced persons including migrants, as well as LGBTIQ+ communities. By examining how
gender may increase risk and vulnerability among various groups, Health sector partners can seek to
ameliorate these impacts and ensure inclusive response services for all populations.

Primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare services including specialized medications and treatments –
especially for chronic and/or catastrophic illnesses – are increasingly unaffordable for most of the
populations in Lebanon. Lack of affordable transportation also prevents timely access and follow up for
services including antenatal care for pregnant women and routine immunization for children.

Consequently, vulnerable groups might experience several forms of accessibility challenges. For instance,
health care needs of women may be delayed or postponed while female-headed households, which
historically report lower levels of overall income, may struggle disproportionately to access care. In
addition, access might be difficult for the displaced populations including men especially when they do
not have proper documentations. Furthermore, mental health issues such as depression, hopelessness,
anxiety, sleeplessness, or night terrors are increasingly reported among affected persons, including
children. Persons who experienced previous trauma, such as Gender-Based Violence (GBV), the Beirut
Port explosions, and the Lebanese Civil War, may also experience re-emergence of symptoms such as
excessive worrying and fear, having nightmares, insomnia, disorientation, and recalling of these incidents.
Health sector partners are encouraged to ensure meaningful representation and consideration of the
needs of vulnerable groups throughout all phases of their program cycle. The headings below offer
important tips to promote a gender-sensitive and inclusive approach to response programming.