The EU delegation hosted today, at its headquarters in Beirut, a signing ceremony to kick-off REBAHS LPSPII, a continuation of the REBAHS project that was launched in 2018 with the aim of strengthening the primary healthcare sector in Lebanon. The signing took place between the EU delegation and the implementing consortium consisting of the International Medical Corps (IMC) and Premiere Urgence Internationale (PUI), to confirm the project’s commitment toward supporting the health system in Lebanon and increasing trust in the quality of services provided, and supporting the Ministry of Public Health’s governing and leadership as overseer of primary health provision.
Financed by the European Union, REBAHS LPSPII will cover primary healthcare clinics across Lebanon to ensure that every primary healthcare center becomes a center of excellence that serves the primary healthcare needs of the community. The project thrives on successfully collaborating with the Ministry of Public Health, particularly the Primary Healthcare Unit and the National Mental Health Program, to develop the LPSP and evaluate the project’s effects on targeted communities at the individual, PHCC, and health system levels.
On the occasion, HE Dr. Firas Abiad, Minister of Public Health, said: “It gives me great pleasure to participate in this event today where the EU and their partners, IMC and PUI, are reiterating their commitment to providing much needed support to Lebanon; indeed, our country and its inhabitants, Lebanese and refugees are going through very hard times, and access to basic needs has become unattainable. This program will ensure that Lebanon’s most vulnerable communities will benefit from easier access to healthcare”.
The project will work toward bridging the humanitarian-development nexus and play an important role in achieving the SDG 3 toward ensuring healthy lives and well-being. It serves the primary healthcare needs of all residents in Lebanon in a way that reduces their financial burden, especially since a larger number of the Lebanese population is now at or below poverty line and can no longer afford their basic needs, like healthcare. Many do not even have health insurance coverage; therefore, having access to quality and affordable primary healthcare is a must.
Alessandra Viezzer, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, observed: “Since 2018, through its constant support to primary health care centers in the MoPH network and in partnership with IMC and PUI, the EU has enabled 2.1 million beneficiaries to have access to medical consultations, vaccination services and laboratory testing to support specific diagnoses. In addition, the EU support has enabled 11,400 beneficiaries to have access to mental health services at primary health care centers. We are proud to renew our support until 2023 and continue to bolster the Lebanese health system’s capacity and to deliver an affordable and comprehensive package of quality health services”.
International Medical Corps will lead a consortium with partner Premiere Urgence Internationale and continue a successful collaboration to bolster the capacity of the local health system and deliver an affordable and comprehensive package of quality health services through the implementation of the LPSP, developed by the Ministry of Public Health.
Country Director of International Medical Corps, Eduard Tschan, stated: “It is thanks to the European Union financial support that we can implement this program that has a positive impact on the primary healthcare sector as a whole and on the quality of life of the communities we serve, and we are very happy to be working hand in hand with our partners to help as many people as possible fulfill their basic healthcare needs”.
The Head of Mission of Premiere Urgence Internationale, Kevin Charbel, added: “On top of the healthcare benefits, this program offers awareness raising sessions to promote the services and educate the communities about a variety of health topics, including mental health and gender-based violence, which are equally important and in some cases, lifesaving”.
An estimated 1,110,000 individual beneficiaries, including refugees and vulnerable Lebanese, will receive primary healthcare services, 62,000 individuals will receive community health education, 2,100 unique beneficiaries will receive MHPSS case management services, a further 32,000 will be reached through additional MHPSS services and 6,000 will be helped through outreach and awareness raising sessions on GBV-related topics.
REBAHS LPSP II plans to support 66 primary healthcare centers countrywide, providing monitoring against quality standards and training 236 staff. “Due to the economic situation in Lebanon, we are witnessing an increased demand for the primary healthcare clinics to provide chronic disease medications, this is why it is very important to extend the necessary support to these clinics and their staff so they can serve as many beneficiaries as possible”, concluded May Hasbini, Vice President of the Social Relief and Welfare Society, Al-Mouaasat – Nazih Bizri Clinic.
REBAHS LPSP II is a follow-up of REBAHS I, REBAHS II and REBAHS LPSP projects, which were implemented between January 2018 and May 2022, and provided subsidized healthcare and mental healthcare services to more than 2 million beneficiaries. The European Union, through the NDICI generously provided International Medical Corps and Premiere Urgence Internationale with a €30,000,000 to reduce the vulnerability of affected populations, including refugees and vulnerable host communities, through the equitable provision of primary health and mental health services throughout Lebanon. With this, the European Union supports the development of a strong, accessible and quality health infrastructure able to cater to the needs of the most vulnerable individuals and households.