Since the 7th of October 2023, Lebanon, especially its southern regions, has been relentlessly targeted by Israeli attacks. These assaults have caused widespread devastation, claiming lives, destroying homes, infrastructure, and even harming the environment and local economies. Many people have been forced to flee their homes out of fear for their safety, with the current number of displaced individuals surpassing 87,000 as reported by the International Organization for Migration.
While the Lebanese government did approve a “National Emergency Plan,” commonly referred to as the “Preventive Plan for Facing Any UpComing War,” in November 2023, however, its implementation and effectiveness are now being questioned, especially in light of recent Israeli attacks, such as the one in Nabatieh.
The plan has a number of other gaps that include a lacking approach to just and adequate shelter that is detached from the local reality and the challenges of the commodification of housing, neglection of the rights and needs of the people with disabilities and the elderly, evident discrimination against the non-Lebanese, and a lack of attention to dealing with the expected environmental and agricultural damage.
This article discusses these gaps, suggesting that there could be no substitute for the state in managing crisis management efforts, formulating relief strategies, ensuring adequate support and shelter, and eventually facilitating an inclusive recovery, taking into account the diverse needs of its people and adapting tools as required.