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January 01, 1995
Situation Analysis of Women and Children in Lebanon

For the past couple of years, Lebanon has been going through a transitional period, moving from a conflict period towards political and economic recovery. The government has been taking measures towards economic stabilization and preparing contracts for the rehabilitation of the country's infrastructure. This brought about a new sense of optimism among the Lebanese and replaced an atmosphere of despair with one of hope.
Taking note of the considerable progress achieved by the government during the past few years, the country still faces major social problems. The government faces the complex challenge of not only revitalizing the economy but also the challenge of tackling and dealing with the obvious and apparent social problems. High levels of poverty and the multi-faceted problem of the displacement has not been fully attended to. The inequities induced, such as the divide between high income and low income groups, are large and getting larger; these have to be addressed through government policies with greater social leverage and content.
It is of utmost importance to start addressing the basic social needs of the neediest segments of the population in order to achieve complete stability and lasting peace, for the rebuilding of war-torn societies requires the simultaneous pursuit of political, economic, and social reconstruction as the three are interconnected and interdependent.
The aim of this situation analysis report is to identify and highlight social problems pertaining to women and children in post-war Lebanon and provide suggestions and recommendations which will guide UNICEF and the government to focus on areas in need of special attention and on priority problems of women and children and then proceed into formulating strategies to address the causes of these problems. The analysis is UNICEF's initial step towards the production of its five-year programme of coordination and cooperation with the Lebanese government which will aim at alleviating and addressing the many remaining social problems of Lebanese women and children.
The analysis report is based on a review of previously produced documents, reports and statistics regarding issues related to women and children. The Ministry of Education, the World Bank, the Center for Education and Research Development, and UNICEF in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health have been able to carry out a number of studies and surveys which were used and are cited in this analysis. UNICEF's 1994 National surveys on EPI and CDD, conducted with the Ministry of Public Health, and UNICEF's 1993 Situation Analysis and Surveys on Child Health provided significant information on the health situation of children and were used extensively in the report. However, older sources were reverted to when recent and up-dated information was not available.
The report consists of three major sections. The first section provides a national overview of the country. The second section focuses on the physical and emotional condition of Lebanese women and children and highlights their social and health problems and the underlying causes behind them. The third section is divided into two parts. The first part discusses the global priorities which will ameliorate a wide variety of problems and challenges facing the Lebanese government, the second part presents sectoral priorities and recommendations for the different areas that have been addressed in the study with the aim of improving the situation of children and women in post-war Lebanon.
Rosie Nasser
Project Manager

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