Situation of PWD in partnering nations - Lebanon

PWD estimations in the general population

Currently, there are no accurate figures on disability in Lebanon. This considerable variation is mainly due to the lack of a standard classification system of disabilities, the lack of an agreed-upon definition, and the marginalization of people with disabilities. Estimates vary according to the source:
  • 1.5% of the general population (The Central Administration of Statistics)
  • 10% of the general population (UN survey)

Access to health and social services

Despite the issuance of the PWD card, many problems relates to either coverage or management continue to restrict the access of PWD to basic services. Of the coverage issues is the narrow definition of disability by which a person is entitled to this card. This definition includes only four of the seven types of disabilities identified by the World Health Organization (WHO). Of the management issues is the weak coordination between the various entities involved in the administration of PWD services.
The Ministry of Social Affairs (MAS) and the National Council of Disabled are responsible for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. 74,000 persons with disabilities own disability card delivered by the Access and Rights Program, the MSA. Among the registered PWD, 55% physically challenged, 8% visually impaired, 27% mentally challenged, and 10% hearing impaired.

Access to education

There are high illiteracy rates (38.2%), and low rates of secondary schooling (5.0%) and university graduation (2.9%) among PWD. Access to education for PWD in Lebanon is limited due to the lack of integration processes in educational institutions and in the academic curriculum. The majority of children with disabilities are educated in special care institutions in part funded through the MSA. Only few public and private schools adapt their infrastructures to make them accessible to PWD.

Access to employment

Among the registered 74,000 PWD, only 15% have a regular job. The main challenges to employment of PWD are: inaccessible buildings, inaccessible public transportation, limited access to education, and lack of appropriate vocational trainings for PWD. Additional obstacles to employment are the employers’ attitudes and the market requirements in terms of qualifications of the labor force. This is aggravated by the lack of a support system that facilitates job searches.

Situation of women with disabilities

Little is known on the situation of women in particular. According to the data of the Access and Rights Program and the MSA, 37% of the registered PWD in Lebanon are females. Women with disabilities are among the poorest in the country, and face dual discrimination due to both their disability and their gender. In general, women with disabilities in rural areas have fewer educational and employment opportunities.

Environmental accessibility for PWD 

5 governmental bodies in Beirut: The MSA; the VAT Building - Ministry of Finance; the Ministry of Labor; the Municipality of Sin El Fil; Electricité du Liban 
5 private schools in Beirut and Mount Lebanon: Sagesse Brazilia-Hamzieh; Notre-Dame de Jamhour; Ecole Secondaire Kawsar – Bir Hassan; Ecole du Sacré-Coeur-Gemmayzé; Collège Melkart-Hamzieh 
1 faculty at a university: the Institut de Gestion des Entreprises, Saint Joseph University- Mansourieh Campus 
4 private institutions: Abou Adal Group, Fattal Group, Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, Sanita SAL 
1 cultural center: UNESCO Palace 

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