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Housing Compensation

& Disaster Preparedness

in the Aftermath of the July 2006 War in South Lebanon

Sultan Barakat & Steven A. Zyck

with Jenny E. Hunt


Housing Compensation
& Disaster Preparedness
in the Aftermath of the July 2006 War in South Lebanon

Sultan Barakat & Steven A. Zyck

with Jenny E. Hunt


of Contents




A2.1 Conflict in Lebanon 5
A2.2 The July War 6
A2.3 Socio-Economic Conditions 7
A2.4 Disasters 8
A3.1 Sampling 12
A3.2 Methodological Discussion 13



B1.1 Assessing Individual Needs 17
B1.2 Actors and Amounts 20
B1.3 Financing Compensation 23
B1.4 Household-Level Compensation 24
B1.5 Achievements and Progress 26
B1.6 Assistance Owed & Delays 28
B1.7 Beneficiary Satisfaction 28
B1.8 Section Conclusion 30
B2.1 Socio-Economic Dimensions of Damage and Compensation 31
B2.2 Implications for Female Headed Households 35
B2.3 Socio-Cultural Implications of Housing Compensation 37
B2.4 “Reputational” Implications of Hous ing Compensation 38
B2.5 Section Conclusion 42

B3.1 For the Ongoing Compensation Process 43
B3.2 For Future Com pensation Processes 45



C1.1 Linking Housing Compensation and Emergency Preparedness 51
C1.2 Other Weaknesses 52
C2.1 Levels of Intervention 57
C2.2 Culture of Preparedness 59
C2.3 Awareness Raising 60
C2.4 Municipal Emergency Preparedness Planning 62
C2.5 Content of the Plan 63
C2.6 Safe Havens 68
C3.1 Purpose of Structural Mitigation 69
C3.2 Structural Mitigation Measures 69
C3.3 Interior Mitigation 74
C3.4 Interior Reinforcement 76
C3.5 Challenges 77
C3.6 Implementation 78


D1.1 Piloting of EPP and Structural Mitigation 82





This study eme rges from the fores ight and initia tive of the Norwegian Refugee Council
(NRC), which acted both as a spons or of this s tudy as we ll as a partner in its conduct. T he
constant oversight and involvement of Mr Wassim Shmayssani, the National Shelte r
Proje ct Coordinator a t NRC, and Mr Richard Evans, Project Manager, should, in
particular, be recognised. I am also particularly grateful for the professionalism and
dedication of NRC’s field team which collecte d the vast majority of the data for this
study, particula rly Fatma Chehadeh and Sokaina Sadek. Funding for this study ultimately
comes from the Norwegian Minis try of Foreign Affairs (MFA). This support is g reatly
appreciate d, though the findings of this report refle ct only those of the authors.

Furtherm ore, we would like to thank the many inte rnational and local leaders and
practitioners who took the time to meet and s hare their insights with the research team.
The Government of the Lebanese Republic was particula rly engaged, as were non-sta te
actors such as Jihad al Bina’a. In particular, we would like to thank the High Commission
for Relief, the Council of the South, the Union of Municipalities of Tyre, and
representatives of the Civil Defence, Lebanese A rmed Forces, the Kuwait Fund for Ara b
Economic Development and othe rs for their contributions to this report. A full list of
those individuals and institutions which provided input for this report can be found in
Appendix A.

Finally, we would like to thank the m ore than 500 community membe rs throughout
southe rn Lebanon who allowe d the researchers from NRC and the PRDU into their
homes and shared information regarding damage they expe rience d and the assistance
they received. Their input forms the core of this report, and I hope the findings will be
used to bette r address their needs and interests.

Professor Sultan Barakat, Team Leader

Post-war Reconstruction & Development Unit
University of York, UK

About the Authors
the Authors

PROFESSOR SULTAN B ARAKAT, Team Leader & Primary Investigator

The Founding Director of the Pos t-war Recons truction and Developme nt Unit (PRDU) a t
the University of Y ork, Professor Ba rakat has conducte d research and advised
governments and inte rnational organisations in more than thirty post-conflict and
conflict-affecte d countries. He serves as a Senior Adviser to more than a dozen major
international organisations, including the World Bank, the United Nations, the UK’s
Department for Inte rnational Development and Stabilisation Unit, CARE Interna tiona l
and the Interna tional Organisation for Migration. Professor Barakat works exte nsively in
the Middle East and was one of the primary investigators in the creation, in 1999, of the
Regional Socio-Economic Development Programme for Southern Lebanon. He has
undertaken research pertaining to housing reconstruction a nd disaster prepare dness in
the region. He is the author of Housing Reconstruction After Conflict and Disaster, a
publication produce d for the Overseas Development Institute’s Humanitarian Policy

MR STEVEN A. ZYCK, Co-Primary Investigator

Mr Zyck is a Research Fellow at the University of York’s PRDU, whe re he specialises in
conflict analysis, pos t-conflict stabilisation, social development and private sector
development. A Fulbright Scholar, he has worked for governments, think tanks, NGOs
and universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
Pacific Islands, Afghanistan and Central Asia.


A Researcher at the University of York’s PRDU, Ms Hunt is a specialist in post-conflict
recovery with dual focuses upon de cision-making process and policy implementa tion. In
particular, she is interes ted in the effects of community rela tions with the government
and the dynamics of power between the government and non-state entities. Recently
her research has concentrated on the reconstruction of Beirut’s southe rn suburbs
following the July 2006 War.

Acronyms & Abbreviations
& Abbreviations

ACTED - Agency for Technical Coope ration & Development

CoS - Council of the South
DMTF - Disaster Mitigation Taskforce
DRM - Disaster Risk Mitigation
DRR - Disaster Risk Reduction
ECHO - European Commission Humanita rian Aid Office
EPC - Emergency Prepare dness Committee
EPP - Emergency Prepare dness Planning
FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency
FHH - Female Headed House hold
GIS - Geographic Informa tion System
GoLR - Government of the Le banese Republic
ICS - Incident Command System
ILO - International Labour Organisation
IMC - International Medica l Corps
JaB - Jihad al Bina’a
KSA - Kingdom of Saudi A rabia
LAF - Lebanese Armed Forces
MENA - Middle East and North Africa
MFA - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norway)
NGO - Non-governmental organisation
NRC - Norwegian Refugee Council
NSE - Non-State E ntity
PLO - Palestinian Libe ration Organisation
PRDU - Post-War Recons truction and Development Unit
RTO - Regional Technical Office
UAE - Unite d Arab Em irates
UNDP - Unite d Nations Development Programme
UN-HABITAT - Unite d Nations Human Settlements Prog ramme
UNIFIL - Unite d Nations Interim Force in Le banon
UNRWA - Unite d Nations Relief and Works Agency
USAID - Unite d States Agency for International Developme nt
WANA - West Asia and North Africa

Executive Summary

This report emerges from the initiative of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and was
produced by the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU) at the
University of York. Having noted the dearth of information available, even among key
stakeholders, regarding the more than US$1 billion housing compensation process, NRC
determined to commission a study of its content and impact. Such an inquiry logically le d
to ques tions of eme rgency prepa redness and structural m itigation, as troubling deficits
in the quality of reconstructed housing became apparent. Furthe rmore, ques tion
pertaining to southe rn Lebanon’s ability to withsta nd furthe r conflict or a major
earthquake emerged.


This report involved a triangulated, compos ite approa ch which focused primarily upon
the expe riences and sentime nts of people in communities affected by the July War.
Specifically, it involved the following

 379 open-e nded questionnaires with housing compensation beneficiaries;

 120 surveys with hous ing com pensation beneficia ries;
 30 in-depth inte rviews with housing compensation beneficiaries; and
 32 key stakeholder consultations involving individuals from regional donors, the
Government of the Le banese Republic (GoLR), non-state e ntities (NSEs) and from the
international comm unity.

Two feedback sessions, one conce rning hous ing com pensation and another concerning
emergency prepare dness, were organised in Beirut in De cember 2008 in orde r to allow
key stakeholders an opportunity to respond to and shape prelim inary findings.

These methods proved effective in unders tanding the housing compe nsation process and
its socio-economic, socio-cultural and reputational impacts. Most importantly, they
helped the authors to develop, for the first time, a coherent portrait of a highly
incohe rent hous ing com pensation process. More information regarding the me thodology
can be found in section A3 of this report.

Housing Compensation: The Process

The housing compe nsation process focused upon providing financial assistance to the
approximately 120,000 housing units which had been destroyed or damaged during the
July War. While the process is described at length and carefully analysed within the full
body of the re port, the following findings are deemed to be the most significant.

The assessment of damage was not done in a timely or accountable manner (see B1.1).
Differing models were used to assess damage, particularly by the Council of the South
(CoS) and Jihad al Bina’a (JaB), none of which appears to have involved credible or

effective accountability measures. The use of a private firm to audit assistance provide d
through the CoS appears to have pote ntially resulte d in increased misappropriation and
partisanship as well as subs tantial delays.

The funds provided through the compensation process are subs tantial, in excess of
US$915 million, but remain unknown due to a lack of trans parency (see B1.2 a nd B1.4).
It must be noted that no re liable data exis ts regarding the hous ing compe nsation
process. Official figures provided by the HRC we re found to be contradicted through
community-level surveys, and contributions from JaB, in particula r, have never bee n
publicly disclosed. While problems regarding transpa rency, accountability, coordination
and information management are comm on in post-conflict conte xts, rarely have they
taken on such dramatic proportions.

Significant amounts of compensa tion from CoS were delayed, and large sums are owed
to fa milies in the South (see B1.6). Only one-qua rter or recipients of compensation from
CoS have received the ir second payments, one indication of the severe delays which
have plagued the compensation process. Explanations for these delays seem poorly
justified. The HRC finds that only 60 pe r cent of compe nsation has been paid by the
Lebanese government, and surveys conducted during this study indicate that up to 78.4
per cent of households may be owed compe nsation from CoS. Other actors, particula rly
JaB, have delivered compensation in a far timelier manne r and owe little outstanding
housing-re lated assis tance.

Compensation engaged multiple a id moda lities, the most successful being tha t
employed by the Kuwait Fund (see B1.3). Donor countries provided assistance eithe r
through or around public institutions of the Lebanese government. The former approach
resulte d in conce rns regarding the state’s capacity and transparency, and the latte r
approach, adopte d primarily by Qatar and JaB, lacked accountability. A third option
utilise d by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development involved a trus t fund
mechanism which allowed compe nsation contributions to grow prior to disbursement.
This approach also allowe d public agencies to distribute compensation che cks without
ever having fiduciary control or discretion. Such an approach should be utilised by all
donors, through a single, multi-donor trus t fund, during future compe nsation processes.

More than one-fifth of families which suffered housing damage have not yet been able
to return to permanent housing more than two years after the end of the July War (see
B1.5). According to surveys, 21.7 per cent of families have not been able to return to
permanent housing and remain displace d within Le banon. The poorest and those who
suffered the greatest damage have, paradoxically, been the most likely to re turn home.
Many of them appea r to have been coe rced by economic circumstances into returning to
severely damaged or partially destroyed homes which are not suitable for habitation.
These populations are, hence, most at risk in the event of a future natural or human-
made disaster.

Housing Compensation: Impact

Housing compensation resulted in a numbe r of impacts rela ted not only to shelter but
also to economic development, poverty alleviation, social exclusion, cultural he ritage,
governance and public diplomacy. The mos t significant such impacts are outlined below.

The mos t socio-economica lly vulnerable suffered the greatest damage and received the
highest levels of compensation but face cons iderable cha llenges related to housing
quality and livelihoods (see B2.1). The poorest households rece ived more than twice as
much assistance as those which were minimally or not vulnerable. However,
compensation has rarely bee n sufficient to re-build destroyed homes, and many of the
most vulne rable, who we re the mos t likely to have had their home des troyed, have bee n
forced to re turn to their damaged homes given a lack of alternatives. Additiona l
attention and assistance m ust be provided to this group.

Delayed compensation prolonged displacement a nd complicated on-farm livelihoods,

thus entrenching the “cycle of indebtedness ” (see B2.1). Delayed compe nsation made is
more difficult for all households to re turn to permanent, quality housing, and the
resulting dis placement has made is exce ptionally difficult for those reliant upon
agriculture, who tend to be the mos t vulnerable, to earn income. Furthermore, the need
to rebuild homes rather than waiting up to two years to receive compensation from CoS
meant that many families took loans to purchase cons truction mate rials, thus initiating
or entrenching a cycle of indebtedness. In all cases, economic impacts, whe ther relate d
to livelihoods or loans, affected the poorest the m ost severely.

Female-headed households (FHHs) were not addressed by any articula ted strategy
despite their specific needs, and their social marginalisation resulted in greater
difficulty accessing owed compensation (see B2.2). While FHHs may have received
additional assis tance and reduced corruption through what this report terms ‘informa l
social protection’, they also faced the greates t delays and have made the least progress
on housing reconstruction. They are far more likely to remain out of permanent housing,
a fact which, in part, results from the unusua lly exte nsive delays they expe rienced and
their lack of agency in the pursuit of compensation.

Cultural heritage was not protected during the compensation and recons truction
processes (B2.3). Regulations pe rtaining to cultural he ritage were not adequately
enforced, and many actors, including the firm e ngaged in rubble clearing as well as
individua l home owne rs, had financial ince ntives to destroy culturally or archite cturally
significant homes. This loss will affect Lebanese culture and socie ty while also reducing
opportunities for tourism.

Lebanese public ins titutions were viewed far more poorly as a result of their
involvement with the housing compensa tion process, while JaB and Qatar gained
enhanced status. Perceptions of and occurrence of corruption influenced such
“reputa tional” impa cts (B2.4). Survey respondents viewed the CoS and ce ntra l
government far worse for their involvement in the housing com pensation process while
the opposite held true for JaB and Qatar. People in the South we re far more likely to
view donors more favourably based on the amount provided, the timeliness in which
compensation was provided and the presence of corruption. While detailed statistics are
offered in this section, 22.0 per cent of survey respondents described having expe rience
corruption firs t-hand within the housing compensation process.

Housing Compensation: Recommendations

A series of recommendations for improving housing compe nsation within the ongoing
process and within future s uch processes are offere d. While explore d furthe r in section
B3 of this report, the primary re commendations a re:

 To conceive the provision of housing com pensation not as an end in itself but as the
launch of a process of hous ing re construction which must be supported with
technical assistance and the application of qua lity standards;
 To assess and improve the structural quality of housing rehabilita ted through the
ongoing compensation and reconstruction process;
 To engage a fully independent firm with a consis tent process in assessing, through a
single and unified process, housing damage in the afterma th of conflict and natura l
 To more closely involve communities in participatory and public assessments of
housing damage and monitoring of compe nsation;
 To capacity build the professional and lay construction sectors with particula r
attention to structural integrity and disaste r res istance;
 To deliver outs tanding compensation owed to the popula tion of the South;
 To engage NGOs in monitoring and advocating for the equitable and timely delivery
of housing compensation (and its use for reconstruction) by FHHs and the socio-
economically vulnera ble;
 To improve the provision of informa tion to recipients in order to diminis h
perceptions of corruption and allow for rational household-level economic pla nning;
 To establish a cadastral system for prope rty owne rship and land management;
 To develop the capa cities of municipal officia ls to serve as conduits for information
within the hous ing com pensation process;
 To utilise a trust fund mechanism, involving all re levant regional, state and non-sta te
actors, to finance future compe nsation so tha t assistance is e quitable and based
more on needs than on “adoption” by regional donors;
 To ensure that auditing of reconstruction and com pensation is done by a
transpare ntly selected and fully indepe ndent firm;
 To promote “rational” housing reconstruction, using information campaigns and
materials already developed by UN-HABITAT, which matches the compe nsation
provided with the types and sizes of homes which can be cons tructed; and
 To salvage remaining cultura lly significant houses and othe r buildings and to enforce
regulations in this sector in the future.

Emergency Preparedness: The Need

The quality of houses built and rehabilitate d through the housing com pensation process
is unknown. Given the low technical abilities of most builde rs involved and the ris ing
price of mate rials, it is doubtful that southern Lebanon is prepare d for a major
earthquake or external attack. Few if any technical standa rds were applied, and massive
levels of infla tion meant that appropriate mate rials we re under-utilised (see C1.1).
Furtherm ore, high levels of awareness regarding the threat of natural disaste rs is not
accompanied by due levels of concern. Finally, the uncoordina ted nature of governance
in the South and the fragmented series of inte rventions purs ued by the interna tiona l
community make the threat of a natural or human-made disaste r even more dire (see

Preparing for Emergencies

Emergency preparedness pla nning (EPP) must be pursued. Given the fragmentation in
this sector and the unclear mandate, commitme nt and effe ctiveness of many high-level
stakeholders, the authors propose a municipal-level model supporte d with technica l

assistance and coordination by the Unions of Municipalities, which are the s tructures
which were s pecifically created to enhance coordina tion following the July War (see

The goal of EPP interventions should not simply be to develop plans but to foste r wha t
the authors term a “culture of pre paredness” which pe rvades the GoLR, non-s tate actors,
the construction sector and civil society (see C2.2). Similar to “mainstreaming”, this
culture would involve the conside ration of emergency pre paredness – a term use d
broadly in this term as to also encapsulate structural mitigation – in all aspects of
governance and development.

Specifically, the following eme rgency pre paredness activities are proposed:

 Awareness raising regarding the threat posed by and means of prepa ring for and
responding to various types of disasters and eme rgencies (see C2.3);
 A participatory planning process engaging all key stakeholders (including NSEs),
community members and members of ma rginalised groups (see C2.4); and
 The development of plans which include: (i) a risk assessment which rationally
identifies risks which may be feasibly addressed; (ii) a redundant and effective
management system to facilitate decision making, early warning, evacuation and
communication; (iii) a plan for mee ting the most dire effects of an emergency
(injury, public safety, fires, food and shelter, etc.); (iv) an inventory of the human
and material resources available within each municipality; (v) procedures for
disseminating, testing and revising the plan; and (vi) strategies for mitigating damage
through structural interventions prior to a disaster and in the reconstruction process
following one (see C2.5).

Detailed information regarding each of these activities, which are provide d as

recommenda tions, is included within section C2 of the report. This section concludes by
proposing safe havens, areas which are recognised by nations, interna tiona l
organisations and arme d groups as neutral zones, for civilians to seek shelter and
prote ction during conflict.

Structural Mitigation

The final section concerning prepa redness, section C3, addresses the ques tion of
structural mitigation. While plans may allow communities to respond more effectively to
and mitigate the effects of eme rgencies, improvements in infrastructure (at the level of
households and public buildings) are necessary to prevent widespread damage and loss
of life.

Community members and regional donors must be convince d of the need to support
structural mitigation given the costs involved in doing so. Such activities must be viewed
as safeguarding families and as protecting investments already made within the hous ing
sector. Particular a ttention should be paid to the integ rity of life line s tructures such as
hospitals, Civil Defence facilities, and Army barracks and to the quality of high-value,
highly populated buildings s uch as schools, medical clinics, community centres a nd places
of wors hip (see C3.1).

With specific refere nce to housing, the following com ponents must be conside red in
construction and re habilitation:

 Robust building form;  Distribute d ope nings;
 Firm foundations;  Horiz ontal reinforcement;
 Good quality materials;  Safe modifications; and
 Strong walls;  Regular maintenance.

These components a re discussed in detail in section C3.2 of the report. In addition,

individua ls must be provided with information pe rtaining to “interior mitigation”
techniques (see C3.3) such as securing appliances, mirrors, televisions and other items
prone to exacerbating earthquake damage. As previously noted, the level of investment
required of structural m itigation mus t be accompanie d by efforts to dem onstrate its
value. As such, all structural m itigation mus t emerge from a n understanding of
impediments and constraints. In many cases, particularly among the most vulnerable
(who surveys found to be living in the poores t quality homes), structural mitigation will
require externa l res ources, and the authors e ncourage regional donors and relevant non-
state actors to invest s trongly in this sector.

Piloting Preparedness & Mitigation

Demonstra ting the benefits of emergency prepare dness and structural mitigation will be
best accomplished through the implementation of pilot interventions in “m odel”
communities (see D1). Given the impact of the 15 February 2008 earthquake upon Srifa
and the ongoing eme rgency preparedness initiatives being attempted the re by the LAF
and others, this a rea provides a suitable conte xt. The ongoing reconstruction work in the
Nahr el Bared camp in the North will, likewise, allow for the effective integration of
preparedness activities. Both areas may be targete d by the pilot prog ramme, which
should re ceive substantial support to ensure its success, and the outcomes should be
widely disseminated through the media and through site visits by municipa l officia ls and
others from both public and non-governmental organisations, including the CoS, HRC,
LAF and JaB.

There rema ins a g reat deal of work to be done to protect southern Le banon from the
emergencies which have consistently resulted in human, infrastructural and economic
losses. As in the case of housing com pensation, all contributions are valuable. However,
also as seen in housing compensation, the effectiveness, equity and efficiency of
interventions would benefit from fa r greate r coordination and cooperation and far less


Part A
A1. Purpose of the Study
of the Study

The 33-day ‘July War’ in 2006 resulted in massive levels of damage. Approximately
120,000 housing units were damaged or destroyed in addition to substantial numbe rs of
schools, medical facilities, bridges, roads, businesses and government insta llations. Up to
a million people were dis placed from the ir homes. In response, numerous actors from
within Lebanon, the region and the interna tiona l community intervened in order to
provide housing compensation valued in excesses of at least US$1 billion, likely much
more. Yet, little is understood about this process even among those charged with
coordinating it from within and outside of s tate institutions. The actors involved, the
sums of m oney provided and the impact of the inte rvention remain a matte r of
speculation. It has avoided scrutiny by nearly every actor involved, by scholars and by
international organisations. No publicly available report conce rning this significant
undertaking exists, and no lessons have been recorded and disseminated to improve
compensation processes in Le banon and elsewhe re in the world.

Potentially more troubling, there is little comprehension of what can be done to be tter
prepare Lebanon for a future emergency, whether natural or man made. In light of
Lebanon’s long history of violent conflict, particularly with Israel, and the series of major
earthquakes which have shaken the country, such an oversight significantly increases the
human, econom ic and infrastructural vulnerability. The compensation and re construction
process provided an opportunity to strengthen the country, both with regard to its
infrastructure and its institutiona l arrangements, though it remains unce rtain to what
degree it has done s o. As such, this report addresses the state of eme rgency
preparedness planning (EPP) and, critically, attempts to provide a roadmap for future
activities related to structural mitigation as well as to the huma n and governance
dimensions of EPP.

What dis tinguis hes this report from other ongoing efforts related to EPP in Lebanon is its
focus upon the pe rspectives and needs of lowe r-level stakeholders. While national-level
approaches prese nt long-te rm opportunities, local interventions a re critical in e nsuring
that atte ntion to EPP has a tangible and life-saving impact in the short term.

This study was impleme nted by the Univers ity of York’s Post-wa r Reconstruction and
Development Unit (PRDU) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). As the co-chair of
Lebanon’s Shelte r Cluste r, NRC has been closely involved in s outhe rn Lebanon and has
repeatedly noted the need for a comprehensive review of housing compensa tion and
EPP. This report attempts to meet this need. The study involved more than 500
interviews and surveys in addition to consultations with more than 30 stakeholde rs
relevant to the recons truction of s outhe rn Le banon from the wider region, from the

Government of the Lebanese Republic (GoLR), from the private sector, from
international organisations and from Lebanese civil society.

The report, following the introduction (Pa rt A), is divided into two main parts. Part B
addresses housing com pensation with s pecific refe rence to the following:

 An overview of actors and financing mechanisms relate d to hous ing com pensation;
 An examination of the socia l and e conom ic dynamics of housing with reference to
livelihoods, gender, marginalisation and cultural heritage; and
 A discussion of the compe nsation process’s implica tions for the re putations of
region donors and non-s tate entities.

Part C, which is closely focused upon EPP and structural mitigation, includes the
following sub-components:

 A review of the sta te of eme rgency pre paredness in s outhe rn Lebanon;

 A study of options pe rtaining to EPP focused on community-level interventions; and
 An overview of key principles of household-level structural and interior mitigation.

Together these two parts will contribute to the primary purposes of this report: to assess
the residual needs of residents in southe rn Lebanon, to evaluate the com plex array of
assistance packages offered and to esta blish lessons learned. The scale of the destruction
after the July War highlighted, broadly, the relative weakness of the region’s
infrastructure, and the need, the refore, to build back ‘better’. In orde r to provide
guidance on how GoLR, non-s tate actors, regional donors and inte rnational NGOs may
build back be tter and mitigate destruction, each pa rt concludes with a se ries of practical,
actionable recommendations.

A2. Contextual Overview
Contextual Overview

This section provides a brief overview of the conte xt of southe rn Lebanon. It focuses
particularly upon conflict and the July War while also addressing re lated iss ues pe rtaining
to social and economic development. Furthe rmore, it brie fly addresses the major na tural
hazards which threate n Lebanon as a whole with a particular focus upon the South.

A2.1 Conflict in Lebanon

Lebanon, particula rly southern Lebanon, has expe rienced a lengthy legacy of conflict.
Lebanon gaine d independe nce from France in 1941 in a conte xt of intense divisions
between Shi’as, Sunnis, Druze and Maronite Chris tians. An unwritte n National Covenant
in 1943 established a power-sha ring arrangement which avoided conflict, though
tensions we re to flare following the 1948 arrival of Palestinian refugees. Following its
expulsion from Jordan in 1970, the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) based its
operations in Lebanon, a move which drew Israeli milita ry inte rventions in 1973, 1978,
1981 and 1982. This second atta ck against southern Lebanon impelled the arrival of the
Unite d Nations Inte rim Force in Le banon (UNIFIL), which remains the re to this day. The
1982 Israeli intervention, which comprised a full-scale invasion, was followed by an
occupation of parts of the South, both dire ctly and through Lebanese Christian proxies,
which lasted up to 18 years.

Regular conflict with Israel took place amidst Lebanon’s civil war from 1975 to 1991.
While the specific and evolving nature of the conflict is too com plex to address here, the
conflict res ulted in strengthe ned ethno-re ligious and political ide ntities and agendas. At
various phases, fighting took place betwee n Christians and Palestinians, among
Palestinian organisations, among Muslim militias and between reformers and power
holde rs. As a result of this fighting, more than 100,000 pe ople we re killed with a similar
number permane ntly disabled. Nearly a million people were displaced from the ir homes,
and a quarter of these emigrate d within the region and, particularly, to Europe and North
America. The Ta’if Agreement, first put forward in 1989, began to wind down the
conflict, which formally ended in 1991.

The years after the wa r witnessed an increased role for Syria, which had inte rvened in
(and subsequently occupied) Lebanon in 1976 to attempt and end the civil wa r while
reigning in the PLO. (Syrian troops and political pressure was to remain until 2005, at
which point Syria was pe rceived to have played a role in the assassination of Le banese
Prime Mins ter Rafic Hariri.) Te nsions continued be tween Israel and armed elements in
southe rn Lebanon, particula rly involving the non-sta te entity (NSE) Hezbollah. These
tensions culminate d in the 1996 invasion by Israel during wha t came to be known as
‘Operation Grapes of Wra th’, which launched two-week period of intense fighting

marked by attacks on civilians by both sides. Israeli forces unilaterally withdrew from
Lebanon in May of 2000, and Lebanon’s southern border remained relatively calm until
July 2006.

A2.2 The July War

On 12 July 2006, Hezbollah launched a cross-border raid on Israel which resulted in the
killing of eight Israelis and the kidnapping of two. Israel responded with a blockade and,
later, attacks against Hez bollah sites and Shi’a-identifie d areas.

F IGURE 1. Israeli Strikes in Lebanon, As of 30 July (left) and 10 August 2006 (right) 1

The conflict ended following a m id-August ceasefire without a definitive victory. The
Unite d Nations reports that the following damage resulte d from the 33 days of fighting,
though it m ust be note d tha t estima tes of damage differ s lightly. 2

 Nearly 1,200 civilians were killed and 5,000 injure d; 15 per cent of those injured
were pe rmanently injured or disabled.
 Approximately 800,000 pe ople we re displaced.
 More than one million unexploded cluste r sub-munitions were dispe rsed, thus
posing a subs tantial risk to pe ople’s lives and livelihoods (particula rly agriculture).
 Approximately 125,000 hous ing units, 3 612 public schools, several hospitals, 97
bridges, 151 sections of road and 850 commercial ente rprises were either totally or

These images were created by Samidoun Media based upon news reports. Available at:
United Nations (2007) Lebanon Recovery Fund.. Available at:
accessed on 7 October, 2008; Ministry of Economi c and Trade for the Republic of Lebanon (2008) Economic
Report, July. Available at: -8A7A-
83FEA03C229A/0/MacroeconomicI ndicators2007En.htm , accessed on 20 June, 2008.
A housing unit is considered to be a house, or an apartment, or a group of rooms, or a single room that is
occupied (or if vacant, is intended for occupan cy) as separate living quarters.

partially destroyed, as were the Rafic Hariri International Airport and the Jiyyeh
Power Plant.
 15,000 tons of oil was spilt, thus contaminating the Lebanese coast; 20,000 tons of
fuel burne d for 20 consecutive days, and the Ouzai fisherman’s wharf and ma rket
were totally destroyed.
 Real Gross Domes tic Product growth de creased relative to 2005.
 The rate of unemployment has doubled and stands in excess of 20 pe r ce nt. In some
areas of the country and in some economic sectors, unemployment reaches even
higher, to 30 pe r cent and more.

Since the beginning of the July War, total pledges for relief, reconstruction and re covery
from inte rnational donors, including those from within the Middle East and North Africa
(MENA) region, have reached over US$2 billion. Several countries chose to directly target
beneficia ries by sponsoring projects, such as the building of bridges or, by ear-ma rking
funds for the e nd beneficiaries. In this manner Qatar, the United Arab Emirate, European
Commission, Unite d States, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Syria and Iran have given
around US$319 million. The Governme nt of the Lebanese Re public (GoLR) saw the
largest recorded pe rcentage of aid pledged during the phase immedia tely after the War,
estimated at US$1.14 billion. 4 The Stockholm and Paris III conferences coordinated a
renewed financial commitment to the GoLR. The Stockholm Conference raised US$940
million, and Paris III drew pledges of $7.6 billion des igned to help the governme nt deal
with a $41 billion public debt and the reconstruction efforts. 5

A2.3 Socio-Economic Conditions

The conflict and subsequent re construction process have taken place within and shaped
the socio-econom ic context of southern Lebanon. The best statistics conce rning the
South comes from UNDP and we re gathered in 2004. 6 The UNDP report includes the
following indicators:

 The popula tion of southern Lebanon is 401,000, which is comprised of 89,000

 16.5 per cent of the households are headed by females, a legacy of decades of
conflict and, to a lesser extent, labour migration.
 The population is also aging, with a relatively high 21.2 per cent of households being
led by individuals olde r than 65.
 15.2 per cent of the population (of Lebanon as a whole) is classifie d as disabled.
 Educational deficits are evident, with less than a qua rter of the population having
graduated form high s chool; illite racy rates are higher than 10 per cent, and
secondary school e nrolment among young men is pa rticularly low.

For some organisations providing assistance, such as Jihad al Bina’a, it is impossible to quantify the amount of
funds they have received, as is often the case when a non-state actor is providing a service: there is a reduced
transparency in operations with little pressure to reveal the amount or, source of funding through a de creased
need to be ‘democratically’ accountable.
BBC (2006a ) ‘Donors make huge Leba non pledge’, 1st September. Available at:, accessed on 20th June, 2008.
Ministry of Social Affairs, Central Administration for Statistics, and the United Nations Development
Programme (2004) The National Survey of Households Living Conditions 2004.

As implied in the statistics above, there are particula r impacts which have resulted from
conflict. In particular, households are comm only led by female and the elde rly given the
death of young men in conflict. These populations, like the handicapped who have also
emerged from de cades of warfare, are pa rticularly critical to this study given the added
challenge they may have in re-building housing and in prepa ring for and res ponding to

A2.4 Disasters

In addition to a legacy of conflict, Lebanon faces a constant threat from disasters,

particularly earthquakes though also landslides, flooding, avalanches, droughts, chemical
spills and industrial accide nts. Earthquake trem ors have been felt with increasing
frequency in the southern region. On 15 February 2008, Tyre, a southern Lebanese city,
was affected by an earthquake recorded at a magnitude of 4.2 on the Richte r scale,
causing aftershocks that were felt across the region. Geologists estima te that 640,000
people in Le banon e xperienced mode rate or strong shaking. 7

F IGURE 2. Major and Minor Fault Lines in Lebanon 8

While Lebanon experie nced only one significant earthquake with a magnitude of 5.0
during the twentieth ce ntury, the country has previously expe rienced ca tastrophic

USGS (2008) Estimated Population Exposed to Earthquake Shaking. Washington, DC: US Geological Survey.
The figure was located at: categorized/2008/02/15/faults.jpg

seismic events with a magnitude greate r than 7.0. 9 As a result, many have concluded that
Lebanon is prese ntly “overdue” for a major earthquake.

Current programme documents from the government, international and national NGOs,
international bodies and construction agencies do not adequately address the threat of
natural disaste rs or the ability and imperative to mitigate the destructive effects of
future conflicts. The current recons truction of southern Lebanon presents an opportunity
for stre ngthening the resilience of southe rn comm unities to future eme rgencies. As one
resident of Braykea, in an interview, stated: ‘The most importa nt thing is to educate
people about an emergency plan in case of future conflict and natural disasters and how
to protect the kids.’ 10

A. Salah-Eldin Elnashi and R. El-Khoury, Earthquake hazard in Lebanon, Imperial College Press, London, 2004.
Personal commu nication, Braykea, Lebanon, 24 Oct. 2008.

A3. Methodology

The research team which conducted this s tudy was le d by Professor Sultan Barakat of the
University of York’s Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit (PRDU). Data
collection and analysis took part in two phases, the first unde r the guidance of the
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the second in close cooperation betwee n the
PRDU and NRC. The first phase focused upon the com pletion of ope n-ended
questionnaires, designed by NRC, with 379 individuals, interviews with 36 municipal
officials and a small number of municipality-level case studies. The second phase
involved a multiple-choice and short-answe r survey of 120 households in 15 additional
villages across the South and 30 in-de pth inte rviews with individuals whose households
had experie nced damage during the July War. In total, 51 of South Lebanon’s 250
municipalities, or 20.4 per ce nt, were covered by this study. 11 These interviews, surveys
and questionnaires we re supplemented by interviews with representatives of relevant
governmental, non-governmental, civilian, military, local, regional and interna tional

F IGURE 3. Data Collection T ools and Samples

Data Collection Method Sample Size Municipalities Involved

Phase One
Open-ended questionnaires with
379 36
Open-ended questionnaires with
36 36
municipal officials
Phase Two
Surveys with households 120 15
Interviews with households 30 15
Stakeholder consultations 32 -

During both phases, data collection was conducted by NRC staff membe rs, though,
during the second phase, NRC pe rsonnel we re trained by the PRDU on data collection
and entry. In order to enhance the validity of data collected by such seemingly “vested”
individua ls, whose organisationa l affiliation was conveyed to all respondents, NRC
personne l stated that the research was not linked to any planned or potential future
assistance programme and that it was be ing conducted in collaboration with academic
researche rs. Furthe rmore, as discussed later in this section, site se lection during the
second phase aimed to avoid regions in which the NRC had previously implemented
assistance programmes or engaged in simila r research activities.

These include those municipalities in the Nabatieh and South Lebanon mohafathas.

The second phase also involved a varie ty of key stakeholder cons ultations with
international organisations and bodies relevant to housing and shelte r inte rventions in
the South, including the following:

 the High Relief Comm ission (HRC),

 the Council of the South (CoS),
 Jihad al Bina’a (JaB),
 the Lebanese A rmed Forces (LAF),
 the Lebanese Civil Defence,
 the Unions of Municipalities of Tyre and Nabatieh,
 the Kuwa it Fund for Arab E conom ic Development,
 the Saudi Public Campaign for Lebanese People Relief,
 the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO),
 the United Nations Development Prog ramme (UNDP),
 the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT),
 the House in the South, a local NGO,
 the United Nations Inte rim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL),
 the United States Agency for Internationa l Development (USAID),
 ROSS, Italian Cooperation,
 the Agency for Technical Coope ration and Development (ACTED),
 the International Medical Corps (IMC),
 the Governor of Tyre,
 the Lebanese Red Cross,
 Islamic Rissala Scout and
 Al Kayan.

These same stakeholders were invited to dissemination and feedback sessions on 17 and
18 December 2008 in Beirut. These workshops a llowed individuals and institutions
engaged in both hous ing compensation and eme rgency preparedness to cla rify and
respond to the s tudy’s preliminary findings.

Each of the research encounters – surveys, interviews and stakeholder consultations –

attempted to gain pe rspectives upon both housing recons truction and com pensation as
well as upon emergency preparedness planning (EPP). The combination of these two
topics was pragmatic as well as strategic given that pote ntial, future inte rventions
related to emergency preparedness will involve an infrastructural context closely related
to and in some ways dependent upon the housing compensation and re construction
processes. Furthe rmore, EPP and, in pa rticular, structural mitigation are critica l for
safeguarding the more the US$1 billion investment made in housing since 2006 by the
GoLR, regional governments, the interna tiona l comm unity, non-state e ntities and
individua ls.

A3.1 Sampling

Sampling during Phase One, which was conducted by NRC, focused upon those most
severely damaged communities. The sampling methodology used during Phase Two was
developed by the PRDU using 3 July 2008 figures from the Lebanon Shelte r Cluste r, which
included village-level data concerning hous ing damage from the CoS. Twelve households

from each village were to be engaged in the study. Only those villages within the South
Lebanon and Nabatieh mohafathas were included (250 villages, total). Forty-one villages
with fe wer than 24 damages or destroyed housing units were e xcluded, as they would
present a challe nge in locating sufficient numbe rs of respondents.

Each of the remaining 209 villages was assigned a ‘damage quotient’ in order to provide
a single indica tor of village-level damage. This quotie nt took into account the numbe rs of
totally and partially destroyed houses, the num ber of severely damaged houses and the
number of partially damaged houses within each village as assessed by the CoS and
verified by a private firm, Khatib and Alami. Each community’s quotient was weighted so
that a village with simila r numbe rs of affected housing units but with re latively “severe”
damage – that is, more destroyed rathe r than damaged units – would be assigned a
higher damage quotie nt. 12

Once damage quotients had been assigne d and the villages had been sorted based on
their level of destruction, every 14th village was selected according to a periodic sampling
methodology. A periodic technique was used in orde r to provide a range of levels of
damage, from least to greatest. As no 210th village was available, which would have
provided the 15th village, the final (209th ) village (the mos t damaged) was selected. Any
villages in which NRC had previously impleme nted projects or conducted research were
replaced with villages with similar damage quotients. In total, three villages were
replaced on these criteria, and another three villages were replaced given challenges
gaining the approval of local power holders. 13

The final list of sampled villages from both Phase One and Phase Two may be found in
Appendix B of this report.

A3.2 Methodological Dis cussion

The methodology, which utilised a composite approach com bining qualitative as well as
quantitative approaches, is deemed to have been highly effective. While the diversity of
southe rn Lebanon makes the pursuit of a re presenta tive sample challe nging, the
methodology was able to include areas with varied sectarian, political and socio-
economic profiles. Villages had experie nced widely differe nt levels of damage and
reflecte d urban as well as remote, rural conte xts. The forms of assistance which the
sampled villages had expe rience d also allowed for a comparison of aid modalities, from
direct cash injections by regional donors and non-state actors to sta te-driven processes
involving the CoS and HRC.

The use of surveys, interviews and key stakeholder consulta tions allowed for the
triangula tion of data and the gathering of multiple pe rspectives on the compe nsation
process. Still, the me thodology also raises legitimate issues, though none which

The quotient did not account for the extent of damage relative to the total size of the community or total
number of houses given the lack of recent population statistics.
In one case, a village was replaced given that most homes served as se condary residences and were unlikely
to be sufficiently populated on weekdays. Issues of access were posed primarily by non-state actors who hoped
to obtain higher-level clearance before allowing data collection to take place. Local stakeholders were
furnished copies of the research tools and carefully informed of its purpose in order to allay concerns.

underm ine the validity of key findings. For instance, the involvement of an interna tional
non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the research inextricably led to concerns that
needs would be e xaggerated and that NGOs would somehow feature in responde nts’
answers. The question of exaggerated needs is comm on to all post-conflict and
developing country contexts. Despite assurances that the research is pure and rem oved
from conside rations of aid financing, respondents were prima rily familiar with research
in the context of needs assessments and programming. PRDU-des igned research tools
used methods to ide ntify and isolate biases by using multiple means and questions in
order to ascertain individual pieces of data. In doing so, variations can be identified, and
more valid responses may be systematically ide ntified. The latte r concern, regarding
NGO-centric res ponses was not a conce rn given that NGO rare ly featured within
questionnaires, surveys or interviews.

Calculating Vulnerability in South Lebanon

Throughout this report, refere nces to responde nt vulne rability will be made. The
research team felt it ne cessary to examine how individuals at differing socio-economic
levels were affected by housing damage, how they benefited from housing
compensation and reconstruction and how they would likely engage with EPP activities.

The research team utilised self-reporte d data from s urveys in orde r to provide each
individua l with a vulnerability score. The score was ultimate ly comprised of data
concerning adult unem ployment within the household, the level of household pre-war
income (rela tive to the sample as a whole rather than to a national average) and the
decline in house hold income following the wa r. The first piece of data contributed 40 per
cent of the tota l vulne rability score with the latter two contributing 30 pe r ce nt each. The
final piece of data, which measure d the decline in income, attem pted to reflect the
fragility of livelihoods and their vulnerability – as in the case of micro ente rprise owne rs
and those dependent upon agriculture – to political shocks, conflict or natural disasters.
Thus, vulnerability is not unders tood as poverty but as socio-econom ic sta bility in a
dynamic and challe nging context. Given that only approximately half of the survey
responde nts provided s ufficient data to calcula te a vulnerability score, these findings
apply to only tha t half rathe r than to the total sample.

Part B
B1. Process of Housing Compensation
of Housing

The process of housing compe nsation in southern Lebanon was e xceptionally complex,
even when compared to compa rable undertakings in othe r post-conflict countries, and
involved numerous actors, large sums of money and varied political interes ts. This
section attem pts to put togethe r the first-ever portrait of hous ing compensation in
southe rn Lebanon.

This portrait begins by discussing the damage assessment before examining how these
needs were addressed with financing from donors from Lebanon, the Middle East and
North Africa (MENA) region and beyond. Finally, it demonstrates the progress which has
been made, the compe nsation which is still owed and how satisfied beneficiaries have
been with the process.

B1.1 Damage Assessment

Determining the level of damage done to individua l housing units proved to be one of
the most important and contentious components of the com pensation process. The
assessment of needs determined the level of assistance to be delivered to be neficia ries.
It proved exceptionally difficult given the lack of governmental land management and
legal records indicating which structures ha d existed in which a reas. While a damaged
but intact housing unit may have been relatively simple to assess, engineers and othe rs
involved in the process frequently found it difficult to ascertain how many floors and
units had e xisted in a particula r building. For example, a single destroyed structure may
have been a single housing unit or may have include d up to three separa te units, thus
allowing the owner or owners to claim substantia lly greater amounts of compensation.
Similarly, the size of a particula r unit frequently became a source of contention given
that the GoLR intended to provide compensation on the basis of 140 m2 “units ”.

Government-Led Assessment Process

The assessment process involved two separate approaches. The first (Fig. 4) was
designed by the GoLR and drawn upon all inte rnational donors involving in housing
compensation, including those from the MENA region. 14 It involved an informal
assessment of needs by local officials which were then verified during the first formal

The only exception is assistance provided by Iran through the Iran Fund for the Support of the Lebanese
People, which was provided directly to non-state entities in Lebanon and was not able to be accounted for
within this study.

assessment by the CoS and audited by a private engineering consultancy, Khatib and
Alami, operating unde r the GoLR-funded ‘War Damage Assessment Project’.

F IGURE 4. CoS-led Assessment of Housing Damage

Identification of Assessment of Verification of Distribution of

damaged houses level of damage CoS assessment first
by municipal by CoS by Khatib and compensation
officials personnel Alami payments

This assessment method attempted to prioritise accountability by involving two

assessments, including one by a pres umably “neutral”, non-sta te actor, Khatib and Alami.
The assessment process, which appears straightforward in the above diagram, became
more complex in approximate ly 15 per cent of cases, according to Khatib and Alami,
when second or even third assessments of a single destroyed or damaged structure were
needed in order to ascertain the numbe r of floors or units within the building.
Assessments of nee d for first payments a re still ongoing nearly two and a half years after
the July War.

Houses we re provided with one of five designations through this process: (i) totally
destroyed, (ii) pa rtially destroyed, (iii) severely damaged, (iv) partially damaged or (v) not
damaged. Records regarding the numbers of units which were not damaged are not
available, and no houses were classifie d as pa rtially damaged. As such, for opera tional
purposes, only those houses in the first three categories are applicable.

According to CoS records provided to the research team, 84,473 housing units had been
destroyed or damaged and provided with com pensation. This figure appears to be
incomplete given that a figure of 120,000 units (or 70,000 buildings) is comm only used by
actors involved in the process. Of these, 12.2 per cent (10,319) have been totally
destroyed, 1.8 per cent (1,534) have been partially destroyed and 86.0 per cent (72,620)
have been severely damaged. 15

Jihad al Bina’a-Led Assessment Process

The second assessment process, which was solely utilised by Jihad al Bina’a (JaB), was
relatively simple and, as a res ult, rapid. According to JaB representatives, a team of
engineers and voluntee rs from Lebanon and from foreign countries, including the United
States, was dispatched immediately following the July War. Between 3,000 and 4,000
such individua ls re portedly worked with mayors and municipal officials to identify
destroyed houses and to distribute assistance. Again according to JaB representatives,
assistance for individuals with destroyed houses was provided from 15 days following the

Data provided by the CoS and the South Lebanon Shelter Cluster, valid as of July 2008. This data, which
includes housing damage for all of Le banon, was filtered to incl ude only the South Le banon an d Nabatieh
mohafathas a nd further refined to in clude only those villages “adopted” by countries or institutions, inclu ding
CoS, involved in the housing compensation process.

end of the conflict, and 80 per cent of all initial, housing-re lated assistance had been
distribute d within three to four m onths. 16


The two assessment processes entailed stre ngths and weaknesses. The GoLR-led process
allowed for accountability by engaging an external firm to validate findings by CoS
personne l. It was, however, an exceptionally slow process, and only approximately 60
per cent of beneficiaries have received their full compensation. The process also, due to
its complexity, allowed for numerous opportunities for valida tion, though it may have
inadvertently ena bled increased corruption. For insta nce, key stakeholders, supported
by beneficiary interviews, felt that engineers hired locally, from the South, by Kha tib
and Alami had a t times added to rather tha n detracted from corruption and
partisanship. Furtherm ore, while additional research needs to be conducted, it appea rs
that individuals not assessed by municipal officials as having experienced housing
damage were not included in subsequent assessments. While officials reporte dly
attempted to claim as much damage as possible, and more than actually occurred, there
remains a possibility that individuals out of favour with municipal officials due to
sectarian or political conside ration may have been fully ignored in the compe nsation
process. Again, this possibility was raised but not confirmed through this study, and
additional research into exclusion from the housing compe nsation process should be

The approach taken by JaB allowed for a far faster assessment and a more timely
delivery of assistance to beneficiaries. Ye t, it does not appear to have involved any
external accountability mechanisms similar to those utilised by most NGOs and
international organisations. While Ja B admirably ope rates according to a policy of non-
discrim ination according to political, sectarian or other affilia tions, the im plementa tion
of this policy by the Shi’a and Hezbollah-identifie d organisation’s staff and volunteers in
the field rema ins a matte r of speculation ra ther than record.

The Phase One s urvey indicates that 48.8 per cent of respondents we re ‘not at all’
satisfied with the assessment of their housing damage – though it does not indicate
which assessment process, with most beneficiaries have undergone both – with another
22.7 per cent only partially satisfie d. The remainde r we re not at all satisfied. While
assessment procedures are always contentious, and while beneficiaries are likely to
pursue as much assistance as possible through them, it seems that room for
improvement exis ts. Suggestions for improving assessment procedures for future
compensation processes, if unfortunately necessary, are identified in the
recommenda tions section of Part B of this report.

The term ‘housing-related assistance’ is purposely used in order to reflect the fact that JaB’s initial payments
were primarily intended to fund temporary rental housing. Given that such fun ds were commonly used to
support housing reconstruction as well, they are included within discussions of compensation.

B1.2 Actors and Amounts

Based on these two assessment procedures, resources were mobilised from myriad
actors within and beyond Lebanon. These actors, whose interventions were driven by
numerous motives, provided for a hete rogeneous approach to housing compensation,
both with regard to the process and to the amounts provided. The various actors are
describe d below.

Government of the Lebanese Republic 17

The Lebanese governme nt provide d assistance, prima rily contributed by Western

bilatera l and m ultilatera l donors, to the hous ing com pensation process. The total amount
is, according to the HRC, US$293 million. HRC was tasked with overseeing the housing
compensation process within the GoLR, though it utilised the CoS in order to conduct the
damage assessment and in orde r to distribute payments.

Predominantly Western Donors

Bi-late ral and multi-lateral donors injected subs tantial sums of money for Leba non’s
reconstruction at the Stockholm and Paris III conferences. The amount utilise d in the
housing compensation process was, according to the HRC, US$293 million. These funds
were distributed, as indicated above, through the GoLR and its appointed bodies, the
HRC and CoS.

Jihad al Bina’a

JaB, a privately funded NGO, provided a range of assistance in, primarily, southern
Lebanon. While its contribution could not be ascertained from JaB pe rsonne l or
independently, the funds are presume d to be in the hundreds of m illions of US dollars.
Working outside of the GoLR, JaB assessed needs indepe ndently and distributed funds
itself. According to JaB representatives, housing assistance took three forms, including:
(i) funds for rental housing for individuals with inhabitable houses, (ii) funds for
furnis hing damaged or destroyed houses and (iii) funds for housing recons truction. No
evidence of this last form of assistance was found during the study, though JaB
representatives indicated that it was the most re cent and motivated primarily by the
slow pace of GoLR-le d housing compensation. JaB will be providing such compe nsation
based on a calcula tion of the gap be tween the actual cost of recons truction and the
amount provided by CoS or other actors. Finally, JaB also reportedly engaged in some
direct recons truction activities, though these primarily focused upon public
infrastructure and only had a marginal im pact upon housing. JaB-conducted
reconstruction following conflicts and crises had previously been the norm, though a
desire to e nsure a speedy return of populations to the South (in orde r to minimise risk of
an Israeli occupation) led them to switch to cash disbursement in this insta nce. 18

Information in this section is drawn from interviews with personnel from the HRC, 2 Dec. 2008.
Personal commu nication, JaB personnel, Beirut, 17 Dec. 2008.


The Kuwaiti government, through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Developme nt,
provided US$300 million to the reconstruction of Lebanon, including US$115 million for
housing compensation. With a 42-year presence in Le banon, the Kuwait Fund has
consistently supporte d the country’s development and was a major player in housing
compensation. Perceiving the GoLR as reflecting too many compe ting interests and
tensions, the Kuwait Fund provide d checks for individual beneficiaries to the HRC which
were then distributed by CoS. No funds we re transferred into GoLR accounts. The Kuwait
Fund provided assistance for housing compensation through three payments to
individua ls whose homes had been destroyed or severely damaged.

Qatar 19

Qatar “adopted” four of the most damaged towns and cities in southern Lebanon and
provided them directly with com pensation. 20 Substantial funds we re dedica ted to
housing compensation in these areas, though the research team was not able to verify
the contribution, which did not involve or pass through the GoLR. Qatar provided checks
directly to individuals whose homes had been destroyed. That said, based upon
assessments of damage in these areas, the amount is likely to have been approximately
US$150 million.


Despite its troubled legacy within Lebanon, the Syrian government aimed to adopt
particularly damaged villages and conduct, unlike all othe r actors, construction work for
individua ls who had expe rience housing destruction or damage. Though reporte dly
having provided up to US$42 million for housing reconstruction, assistance from Syria
has been delayed by political tensions with Lebanon. Anecdotal reports (see Appendix C)
indicate that reconstruction assistance was only received as of May 2008, though the
study provided insufficient informa tion regarding Syrian assistance to provide any
definitive conclusions.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The government of KSA, through the Saudi Public Campaign for Lebanese People Re lief,
provided US$315 million for housing com pensation according to Saudi and GoLR
personne l. These funds we re provided directly to the Lebanese government and
distribute d to 87 communities “adopte d” by KSA in southern Lebanon. 21 Funds were
provided in the name of the GoLR or CoS rathe r than in the name of the Saudi
government or pe ople.

The report’s authors were unable to interview personnel involved in the provision of assistance by Qatar. As
a result, information is primarily drawn from CoS records and interviews with other key stakeholders.
These four towns/cities are Aainata, Aita Ech Chaab, Bent Jbeil and Khiam, according to CoS records.
The 87 communities were identified from those in the South Leban on and Nabatieh moha fathas using data
provided by the CoS.

Other MENA or Islamic Donors

A wide variety of other MENA or Islamic countries provided assistance in the same
manner as had KSA. These countries, which provided a total of US$42 m illion according
to the HRC, include the following: Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, the United
Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen. Funds we re transfe rre d directly to the GoLR and
provided through and in the name of the CoS.

International Organisations

A number of inte rnational organisations, both inte r-governmental and non-

governmental, have been involved in shelte r, though not housing compe nsation, in
southe rn Lebanon. The Unite d Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
has provided te chnical assistance through Regional Technica l Offices (RTOs) located
within three Unions of Municipalities since autumn 2007. While m uch of the housing
reconstruction was ongoing or comple ted by this point, the half dozen engineers and
other technical expe rts included within each RTO provide d guidance to individuals whose
homes were not yet complete. UN-HA BITAT, through the RTOs, provided guidance on
designing structura lly sound homes which could be constructed for the US$40,000 which
the CoS was intended to provide to individuals whose homes had been totally destroyed.
The Paris-based INGO, the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED),
was involved in implementing this programme. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC),
with which this study was conducte d, has bee n engaged in she lte r re habilitation,
primarily focus ing upon negle cted issues such as the waterproofing of roofs.

Khatib and Alam i 22

Though not a donor entity, this private sector firm was awarded the contract, based on
an agreement established in 1994 with the GoLR, to audit all compe nsation claims. In
completing this task, Khatib and Alami engaged more than 100 engineers, many of them
newly hire d for this ‘War Damage Assessment Proje ct’, which is still ongoing. The
assessment involved an initial verification of CoS findings and an assessment to
determine whethe r or not second com pensation payments should be made by the GoLR
through HRC and CoS.

According to the countries for which data is available or able to be approximated, the
total amount provided is US$915 million. Syria, it is believed though not confirmed,
provided an additional US$42 million, bringing the total to US$957 m illion. When
including assistance provided by JaB, the total amount easily surpasses US$1 billion and
is likely to be far greater.

Information in this section is drawn from interviews with Khatib and Alami personnel responsible for the
management of the ‘War Damage Assessment Project, 3 Dec. 2008.

B1.3 Financing Compensa tion

This substantial amount of money was provide d via several aid modalities, or models of
donorship. While multiple forms of assistance provision are common within post-conflict
situations, these models influe nced the effectiveness and the amount of the
compensation de livered to be neficiaries. The aid modalities employed are outlined
below. Assistance provided directly to individuals may involve less diversion and greater
accountability than assistance mediate d through a numbe r of governmental or non-
governmental entities, though doing so tends to increase transaction costs for the donor

Modality Donors Involved Description

Sector-Specific GoLR (HRC/CoS), The inte rnational community, comprised of
Budgetary with funds from bi- “traditional” bi- and multi-late ral donors as
Support and multi-late ral well as MENA region donors, provide d
donors as well as direct budgetary support to the GoLR for
MENA donors use in the reconstruction of housing. These
funds entere d into GoLR accounts and we re
distribute d through the HRC and CoS. In the
case of donors from the MENA region, the
funds were targeted at spe cific
communities “adopted” by each country.
Government- Kuwait, via the In this instance, funds we re provide d
Mediated Kuwait Fund for through the HRC and CoS but without
Assistance Arab Econom ic entering into governmental accounts.
Provision Development Kuwait, having “adopted” particula r
communities, provided the government
with individual assistance che cks for each
individua l household. The GoLR was tasked
solely with dis tributing these checks.

Donor-Led Direct Qatar, Syria and Donors and other actors provide d
Execution Jihad al Bina’a assistance directly to communities with no
governmental involvement. Traditionally
this modality has been employed whe re
public institutions are not cons idere d
suitable partners due to capacity or
accountability concerns or because of poor
political relations be tween donor and
recipient states. It is also commonly used in
order to providing rapid im pacts and in
order to allow donors to rece ive the
maximum amount of credit or “visibility” for
their assistance.

Each of these modalities was utilised with varie d levels of Le banese governmental
involvement. The effectiveness and suitability of these modalities and recommendations
concerning financing vehicles for future compe nsation processes, if necessary, are
included within section B3 of this re port.

Compensation Distribution

Funds were not only distributed through different modalities but through varying
numbers of payments. The GoLR, through the HRC and CoS, chose to provide
compensation through two payments, of which 24.5 per cent have, according to s urveys,
been paid. The Kuwait Fund em ployed a three-payment system, and Jihad al Bina’a,
given that funds were primarily for housing rental and furnishings, provide d assistance in
one lum p payment.

B1.4 Household-Level Compensation

While the previous section addressed the total amounts provided by different donor
organisations, it remains unclear to what degree these funds reached their intended
beneficia ries. In the course of the surveys, inte rviews and questionna ires conducted
through this s tudy, diffe ring amounts were provided by beneficiaries. It is, unfortunately,
impossible to categorically ide ntify the amounts re ceived by each individual. Donor
entities, aside from those which provided assistance directly to communities, have either
limited or confide ntial accountability measures. Individua l recipients themselves may
have been unable to differe ntiate be tween hous ing compensation and other forms of
assistance or may be inclined to claim lowe r amounts than actually rece ived in hopes of
receiving additional assista nce. The following table (Fig. 5) we re calculated based on data
provided by the HRC.

F IGURE 5. Housing Compe nsation Figures by Adoptive Country or Entity, HRC Data 23

Housing Amount per

Donor/Adopted By Amount (US$)
Units Household (US$)
Qatar Adopted 9,446 149,981,620 15,877.79

KSA Adopted 315,000,000

Kuwait Adopted 73,561 115,000,000 6,416.44

Other Regional Donors 42,000,000
26 27
GoLR Adopted 35,611 293,000,000 8,227.79

These statistics were provided during a 2 December 2008 interview with the High Relief Commission.
Information regarding assistance from KSA and Kuwait were corroborated with representatives of those don or
As previously noted, the research team did not interview personnel involved with the Qatari contribution,
and the GoLR had no records pertaining to the actual assistance provided. However, given that Qatar based its
assistance upon the CoS assessment of needs, it is possible to gauge the likely, though not definitive, Qatari
These figures only include those regional donors who provided assistance through the High Relief
Commission and the Coun cil of the South. It, most n otably, does not inclu de assistance provided by Qatar and
These funds were provided by the Government of the Lebanese Re public (GoLR) but were originally
contributed by bi- and multi-lateral donors, excluding those from the MENA region, at the Stockholm and Paris
III conference s. A GoLR-adopted community is one which was not adopted by regional donors.
It should be noted that, nation-wide, Lebanon Shelter Cluster figures, based upon CoS estimates, indicate
that the GoLR (through the CoS) adopted communities with, in total, only 7,425 destroyed or damaged units.

From the above table, it is apparent that KSA and Kuwait were the la rgest donors to the
process with other regional donors offering relatively smalle r sums. The GoLR, with funds
from donor confere nces, is reportedly a major donor and, according to the table above,
provided more funds per unit than regional donors. Yet these figures are challenged in
some ways by the results of the Phase One and Phase Two surveys (Fig. 6). A degree of
caution must, however, be exercised in interpreting the results. The Phase One survey,
while including a 379-household sample size, focused overwhe lmingly upon totally
destroyed houses. In contrast, the 120-household Phase Two survey sought a more
balanced portrait, with 27.4 pe r cent of houses having been totally destroyed, 21.8 per
cent having bee n partially des troyed and 50.8 having bee n severely damaged. As such,
the per-unit findings from Phase One are higher than in the case of Phase Two. The
similarity of the amounts provided for totally destroyed houses, however, implies that
the sample sizes – rathe r than any diffe rences in methodology or pe rception among
responde nts – is responsible for the variation.

F IGURE 6. Housing Compe nsation Figures by Donor/Adoptive Country, Survey Results28

Amount per Housing Amount per Housing Amount per Totally

Donor/Adopted By Unit (US$), Phase Unit (US$), Phase Destroyed Housing Unit
One Survey Two Survey (US$); Phase 1 (Phase 2)

Qatar Adopted 36,760.00 32,388.89 40,000.00 (40,000.00)

Regional Donor 24,225.33 10,943.37 25,231.59 (27,000.00)
30 31
GoLR Adopted N/A 2,757.69 N/A (29,875.00)

Jihad al Bina’a 9,928.74 6,221.53 10,222.63 (10,870.10)

From these figures, it is apparent that Qatar provide d the greatest amount. Other
regional donors also provided a s ubstantial sum, particularly in the case of totally
destroyed housing units. The range of communities that regional donors adopted, from
those with the greatest damage to those with re latively little damage, makes their
average, per-unit amount s ignificantly and unde rstandably lowe r.

A similar conclusion can be drawn concerning communities adopted by the GoLR. While
survey data implies that they provided a high level of assistance to individuals whose
homes were totally destroyed, these comprise an exceptionally small proportion of their
assistance (<5 per ce nt). The vast majority of hous ing units to which the GoLR provided
assistance (>94 per cent) were damaged rather than totally or partially destroyed.
However, given that the Phase Two survey includes only partially destroyed and severely

Findings in this table are based upon 499 surveys, 379 from Phase One and 120 from Phase Two.
These figures e xclude assistance provided by Qatar. The assistance re ferenced in this row is that which was
provided by MENA donors, in addition to Ind onesia, and whi ch was provided to the HRC to distribute through
the CoS.
These funds were provided by the Government of the Lebanese Re public (GoLR) but were originally
contributed by bi- and multi-lateral donors, excluding those from the MENA region, at the Stockholm and Paris
III conference s. A GoLR-adopted community is one which was not adopted by regional donors.
No su ch communities were included within the Phase One q uestionnaire/survey given that NRC had s ought
to include the most heavily damaged villages, which had been adopted by donors from the MENA region.

damaged houses, the figure of US$2,757.69 is likely too low. 32 When accounting for the
under-sampling of tota lly destroyed houses, the per-unit average would increase to
approximately US$3,800. Given that, according to the HRC, only approximately half of all
GoLR assistance has been dis bursed, the Phase Two survey seems accurate. When the
full amount of assistance is provided, households should be expecte d to rece ive, on
average, US$7,500 to US$8,000.33

The greater ques tion concerning GoLR-adopted comm unities – those which were
provided assista nce by the state a nd not adopted by regional donors – is the nume rical
discrepancy in their numbe r. While the HRC indicates that the GoLR was res ponsible for
providing assistance, much if not all of it provide d through internationa l donor
conferences, to 35,611 units. However, data from July 2008 provide d by the CoS
indicate d that the num ber of units for which the GoLR is res ponsible is 7,425. These
figures must be resolved, and GoLR spending on housing compensation must be more
closely tracked and accounted for by a genuinely independent firm.

Assistance provide d by Jihad al Bina’a was, according to inte rview and survey
responde nts, given for rental hous ing or furniture. As such, the amounts are lowe r than
those provided for actual housing reconstruction and, as previously note d, the
discrepancy between the two pe r-unit average amounts can be attribute d to the greater
focus on totally destroyed houses during Phase One. While JaB representa tives indicated
that they had provide d be tween US$25,000 and US$150,000 per unit for housing
reconstruction, no evidence of JaB-provided housing compensation was found during
interviews or surveys. Also as previously noted, this discre pancy may result from the
recent onset of housing compe nsation from JaB, a process which has been driven,
according to JaB representatives, by the s low pace of GoLR-led hous ing compe nsation.

B1.5 Achievements and Progress

Surveys attempted to ascertain the current residence of individua ls whose homes had
been damaged or destroyed by asking respondents to identify whethe r they were living
in a re lative’s house, a rented house, the ir own repaired house or a newly built house.

The results are m ixed in that 69.6 per cent of respondents are residing in the ir re paired
house, with anothe r 8.7 per cent in newly built houses. The remaining 21.7 per cent of
respondents, however, have not been a ble to return to a permanent residence more
than two years after the end of the conflict. This statis tic is strikingly high, particula rly
when considering the large num bers of individuals who migrate d out of Lebanon during
or following the July War.

These findings are supporte d by survey data pertaining to the state of housing
reconstruction. In total, 83.3 per cent of responde nts indica ted that the ir house had
been totally (63.3 per cent) or mostly (20.0 per cent) rebuilt or repaired with the
remainde r indica ting that their house had been slightly repaired (12.5 per cent) or not at

Figures concerning the levels of damage in GoLR assisted communities is derived from the CoS’s own data
from July 2008.
Admittedly, the remaining difference between the HRC’ s per-househ old figure and the survey results, even
when accounting for under -sampling of totally destroyed houses, does raise questions which require attention.

all repaired (4.2 per ce nt). The methodology employed is, however, likely to e xaggerate
the numbers of individua ls who have returne d to permane nt hous ing given the difficulty
of assessing the s ituation of displaced individuals.

As expected, the results differ based upon the level of damage an individual’s house
experie nced (see Fig. 7), with those who suffe red the g reatest damage being the least
likely to presently be in permane nt housing.

F IGURE 7. The Reconstruction Prog ress, By Level of Damage 34

Level of House Damage post-July War

Current Place of Totally Partially Severely
Composite (%)
Residence Destroyed (%) Destroyed (%) Damaged (%)

Relative’s House 9.6 9.4 16.7 6.8

Rented House 12.2 28.1 12.5 3.4

Repaired House 69.6 34.4 66.7 89.8

New House 8.7 28.1 4.2 0

Another interesting finding conce rns the comparis on between tota lly destroyed homes
and newly built homes. For example, those with a totally des troyed house would,
presumably, require the construction of a new home. Yet, more than a third, 34.4 per
cent, of these individuals indicated that the ir house had been repaired. The results, in
this respect, are open to interpretation. However, it seems likely that, due to a lack of
alternatives, many families may have been forced to return to houses which should have,
from an engineering and safety standpoint, been re-built comple tely. Additional
assessments should be undertaken, as recommended throughout this report, to
ascertain whethe r individua ls are presently residing in structurally unsound houses.

This table is based on a composite of 115 beneficiaries.

B1.6 Assistance Owed & Delays

Despite the significant but ins ufficient percentage of individua ls who have returned to
permanent hous ing, a substantia l amount of compensation has still not been provided.
While less than 2 per cent of individuals indicated that they were owed m oney by JaB,
35.5 per cent of individuals indicated that CoS had owed them additional compensation.
The average amount owe d from the CoS was US$12,590.51.

The compensation process, particularly with regard to CoS, has been significantly
delayed. According to Phase One surveys, 39.7 per cent of CoS beneficiaries had rece ived
their first compe nsation payment by April 2007 with anothe r 48.7 per cent receiving this
payment August 2007. The remaining 11.6 per cent did not receive their first
compensation payment until late 2007 or early 2008. Most troubling, only 26.1 per cent
for Phase One survey respondents had received the ir second payments, almost all of
these in early or m id-2008. By contrast, 94.2 pe r cent of housing assistance from CoS had
been delivered by the end of 2006, with most of the remaining 5.8 per cent having been
assisted in ea rly 2007. 35

The HRC indicated that delays had resulted from two conside rations: (i) the failure of
international donors to comm it all funds pledged and (ii) the need for multiple
assessments of damage and reconstruction due to corruption and partisans hip. The first
explanation was reite rated by a representative of the US Agency for Interna tional
Development (USAID), who indicated that promine nt pledges made by Gulf States were
frequently not fully met. Khatib and Alami, the firm charged with auditing the process,
supported the second explanation in highlighting that verifica tion is becoming
increasingly difficult as time passes given that individua ls who had rebuilt or re paired
their homes in the preceding two years are now seeking back-com pensation.

However, such claims were not supported by consulta tions with major supporters of the
compensation process. As such, the firs t explanation should be me t with some
scepticism. The second argument, conce rning the auditing-linked delays, is verified by
multiple sources. That said, the value of the Khatib and Alami assessments and audits is
questioned by the authors as well as by the ‘War Damage Assessment Project’ managers.
Simple steps, as discussed in section B3 of this report, may be undertaken to increase the
pace of compensation.

B1.7 Beneficiary Satis faction

Delays and all of the other factors discussed in this section – pa rticularly the amounts
provided and the manner in which the compensation was de livered – contributed to or
detracte d from be neficia ries’ level of satisfaction. Satisfaction was assessed in both
Phase One and Phase Two. During the latter phase, the three options were replace d by
four, thus avoiding and “middle” rating, in order to exam ine the sentime nts underlying
the ‘average’ satisfaction level commonly expressed during Phase One (see Fig. 8).

These figures are based upon 379 survey/questionnaire responses.

F IGURE 8. Recipients’ Satisfaction, Phase One 36

Satisfaction Rating (%)

Recipients of Assistance From Good Average Poor
Regional Donors (Qatar) 32.0 36.8 31.6

Council of the South (CoS) 4.2 39.3 48.3

Jihad al Bina’a (JaB) 28.2 44.6 24.9

As is evident in the table above, regional donors who provided assistance dire ctly to
communities (Qatar, m ost notably) and JaB re ceived highly varied assessments from
their beneficiaries. The CoS, however, was awarded very few ‘good’ ratings, and nea rly
half of CoS bene ficia ries felt the assistance was ‘poor’. In the Phase Two survey, similar
results are found. Again, due to the comple xity of assistance from countries in the MENA
region – and given that few individuals we re aware of the country which had adopted
their comm unity – results were only tabulate d for Qatar under the ‘regional donor’
heading. The satisfaction findings for CoS, in both surveys, included those who had
received assistance from regional donors but which had bee n mediate d through the
GoLR and the CoS. Beneficia ries we re generally unable to differe ntiate between
assistance originating with MENA donors and that provided from the GoLR.

F IGURE 9. Recipients’ Satisfaction, Phase Two 37

Satisfaction Rating (%)

Very Somewhat Somewhat Very
Recipients of Assistance From Satisfied Satisfied Dissatisfied Dissatisfied
Regional Donors (Qatar) 30.0 40.0 20.0 10.0
Council of the South (CoS) 4.4 17.8 15.6 62.2

Jihad Al Bina’a 33.3 31.7 16.7 18.3

Qatar received an overall satisfaction rating of 70.0 per cent, with JaB a close second at
65.0 per cent. The CoS’s overall satisfaction rate, at 22.2 per ce nt, is overshadowed by
the nearly two-thirds who indicate d that it was ‘very dissatisfie d’ with CoS assistance.

Dissatisfaction with CoS compensation seems to primarily stem from the quantity and
timing of the com pensation. 39 Out of those who indicated that they were very or
somewhat dissatisfied with CoS assistance, 39.2 per ce nt indicate d that ‘assistance
arrived too late, and 38.1 pe r ce nt indicated that the ‘amount of m oney was too low’. For
both CoS and Ja B, approximate ly 20 per cent of dissatisfied respondents indicated that

Information in this table is based upon 379 survey responses.
Information in this table is based upon a total of 100 household surveys.
The small sample size of bene ficiaries assisted by Qatar in the Phase Two survey (n=10) raises legitimate
questions regarding the validity of these findings.
The explanations for dissatisfaction were based on a set of options ; the question was not open en ded. Based
on piloting of the Phase Two study and on the Phase One survey/questionnaire, the following possible
explanations of dissatisfaction were offered: (i) Amount of money was too low; (ii) Assistance arrived too late;
(iii) Process was biased/corrupt; (iv) Quality of rehabilitation was poor; (v) Other.

the process was ‘biased or corrupt’. These phenomena, partisan bias and corruption, are
addressed more thoroughly in the following section (B2).

B1.8 Section Conclusion

As reflected throughout this section, the process of hous ing compensation was
exceptionally complex. Numerous donors we re involved, and varying levels of prog ress
have been achieved. Broadly speaking, the amount of assistance received by any
individua l was based less upon his or he r nee d than upon the donor which had
“adopted” that particular community. Those who received assistance from Qatar and
Kuwait, in particular, enjoyed direct payments which avoide d the alphabe t soup of
governmental agencies involved in the process a nd, as a result, seem to have rece ived
more assistance in a fa r more time ly manner. The involvement of JaB proved highly
effective to the e xtent that its opaque implementation and accounting can be followed.

Each model of donorship has strengths and weaknesses which will be furthe r examined
in the following section, and the recommendations portion of this report exam ines the
manner in which s trengths of certain models can be incorporated into a more cohe rent
process in the future.

B2. Impact of Housing Compensation
of Housing

Though the process of housing re construction and compensation is m ost closely

identified with infrastructure, it involves social, cultural and economic dynamics in
addition to more general concerns regarding structural integ rity. A house, in addition to
being a res idence, is a site of productive activity, particularly in the case of women. In
rural a nd agricultural communities, it is situated in proximity to fields, groves, orchards
and pastures which se rve as the primary means of income.

This section begins by addressing the socio-economic impact of housing damage and the
compensation process, with particular refere nce to delayed com pensation and economic
vulnerability. It next addresses a comple x of socio-cultural impacts with a focus upon
gender and cultural heritage before exam ining the impact of housing compensation upon
the re putations and standing of the various actors involved.

B2.1 Socio-Economic Dimensions of Damage a nd Compensation

Housing damage was most severe among the most vulnerable and least among those
who were classified as minimally or not vulne rable. For ins tance, 38.1 per cent of highly
vulnerable house holds’ homes were tota lly destroyed as opposed to 25.0 per cent for
the middle vulnerability group and 21.1 percent for the low (minimal) vulne rability
group. According to self-assessments, members of the high vulne rability group rate d, on
average, their homes as 61.4 per cent destroyed versus 56.0 per cent and 45.8 per cent,
respectively, for those belonging to the middle and low vulne rability groups. The high
level of damage experienced by the most vulnerable seems to result from (a) relativism
given that the same level of damage is proportionally more significant for a smaller
domicile than for a larger one and (b) the poor quality construction among the homes of
the most vulnerable. 40

The most vulnerable, as a result of their proportionally greater levels of damage,

received higher levels of compe nsation from the Council of the South (CoS) and Jihad al-
Bina’a (JaB). 41 The CoS, for instance, provided an average of US$6,830.77 to the least
vulnerable individuals, 13.3 pe r ce nt m ore (US$7,736.67) to members of the m iddle
vulnerability category and 97.8 per cent more (US$13,510.53) to the most vulne rable.
JaB’s assistance, which was provided shortly after the conflict and primarily for housing

Technical asses sments are not available to con firm the latter finding, though reports from key stakeholders
and interviews provided corroboration.
Sufficient data was not available in order to calculate valid data concerning the levels of assistance provided
to individuals with differing vulnerability profiles.

rental rather than reconstruction, also involved a positive correla tion, though a less
extreme one, with household vulne rability levels. 42

F IGURE 10. Residency Status and Level of Vulnerability 43

Highly Moderately Minimally, Not

Current Residence Composite (%) Vulnerable (%) Vulnerable (%) Vulnerable (%)
Relative’s House 9.6 10.0 8.3 22.2
Rented House 12.2 5.0 12.5 11.1
Repaired House 69.6 80.0 75.0 55.6
New House 8.7 5.0 4.2 11.1

The added assistance received by the m ost vulne rable has led to broadly simila r but
subtly varied housing situa tions. At present, one third of the least vulne rable – those who
are best off in socio-economic terms – were residing either with rela tives (22.2 per cent)
or within a re nted house (11.1 per cent). Their homes, though less damaged than those
of the more vulne rable, were inhabited in only 55.6 pe rcent of cases compa red to 75.0
per ce nt of cases for the middle vulnerability group and 80.0 per cent of cases for the
most vulnerable. This situation, in showing that many of the most vulne rable have been
able to return to their homes, is deceptively positive. Indeed, giv en that so many homes
of the high vulnerability group were classifie d as ‘totally destroyed’, their return to these
homes indicates a com bination of two factors. First, the levels of damage may have been
exaggerated in orde r to attract higher levels of assistance, a common phenomenon in
post-conflict contexts. Second, highly vulnerable individuals without s ufficie nt res ources
for rental housing and without sufficiently well off frie nds or family members to provide
them with accommodation were coerce d by economic circumstances to attempt to
repair homes which may have benefited from com plete re-building (and in which case
doing so was not possible to do prohibitively high costs). 44 This second possibility is
supported by the fact that the poorest were fre quently the least able to invest in the
reconstruction of the ir housing and faced intense economic pressures. For instance, the
most vulnerable used 18.8 per cent of their housing compe nsation for purposes other
than reconstruction, compared to 12.4 per cent for the modera tely vulnerable and to
only 3.0 per cent for the m inimally or not vulne rable. As a result, the study implies,
though s tops s hort of proving, that the m ost vulne rable may be living in the worst quality
homes which are highly vulnerable to renewed conflict or natural disasters. In the event
of a major earthquake, it seems likely that the loss of life could be immense and borne
primarily by the poorest individuals throughout South Lebanon.

In the case of JaB, the difference between the high and low vulnerability categories was 34.5 per cent, or
roughly a third a great as in the case of CoS.
Information in this table is based upon 115 household surveys.
In order to control for the influence of this first ‘exaggeration’ factor on the second ‘ coercion’ factor, one can
look at the proportion of re -built to totally destroyed homes. In doing so, it is clear that one home was rebuilt
for every 3.3 homes classified as totally destroyed. As such, the rate of new house construction should be 30
per cent the number of totally destroyed houses. H owever, among the most vulnerable, only one new house
was built for every 12 totally destroyed homes. To put it another way, the overall data suggests that 3.6 of 12
totally destroyed homes should have been reb uilt, though only 27.8 per cent of that number received a newly
built home. While this fi nding requires further fi nding, it seems that econ omic circumstances may have played
a role in coercing the most vulnerable to remain in homes which may not have been suitable for continued

Implications for Incomes and Livelihoods

Housing damage and compensation had significant economic impacts on the population.
Of the 120 individuals surveyed, 48 per cent indicated that hous ing damage had
negatively impinged upon the ir house hold’s econom ic circumstances. According to
statements of pre- and pos t-July War income, households expe rienced a 38.4 per cent
decline, from an average of US$11,814.88 to US$7,273.26 pe r annum. The loss of income
was greatest for those whose homes we re totally destroyed; they experie nced a 51.0 per
cent decline in income, while those whose house was partially destroyed only
experie nced a 23.2 per cent loss.

Effects were most severe among the most economically vulnerable. The most vulnerable
were the most likely to suffer e conom ically from conflict-related damage. While one-
third of the least vulnerable indicate d that their livelihoods had been negatively affected
by damaged resulting from the July War, this figure was 94 per cent among the most
vulnerable category. Incomes among the m ost vulnerable were the m ost fragile. While
the least vulne rable households e xperienced an income drop of 18 per cent as a result of
the July War, this figure was 70 pe r cent among the mos t vulne rable. The dramatic
economic implications of damage caused by the July War among the most vulnera ble are
hardly surpris ing, as vulnerability traditionally implies a weakened ability to adapt to
market shocks of any kind, conflict included.

F IGURE 11. Economic Impact of July War Damage45

Moderately Minimally, Not

Indicator Highly Vulnerable Vulnerable Vulnerable

Livelihood affected by war damage 94% 70% 33%

Pre-July War income US$4,576.19 US$7,737.50 US$25,631.58
Post-July War income US$1,390.00 US$3,425.00 US$21,120.00

Change in Income -69.6% -55.7% -17.6%

The extent of the econom ic impact seems to have been exacerbated by their greater
level of self-employment. W hile public or even private sector employment has the ability
to rebound from conflict, agriculture and small business owners hip are far less financially
secure. Indeed, small business owners freque ntly pla ced greate r importance on getting
the shops rebuilt before their homes, though in some cases these two buildings were
one and the same. According to one business owner in South Lebanon: “I think they
should compensate for the downstairs of the building in case there are shops. I couldn’t
repair the upstairs before I had finished from the downstairs, and that was the problem
for many of us”. 46

Information in this table is based u pon 111 s urvey responses. It is not solely restricted to the economic
effects of housing damage.
Personal commu nication, Braykea, Lebanon, 24 Oct. 2008.

The presence of clus ter bombs, while rarely re ported during surveys (only 5.3 per cent)
was commonly note d among civil socie ty representatives to have inhibited agricultural
activity (and, potentia lly, housing recons truction), and population displacement often
meant that families were abse nt from fields for critical periods of time.

F IGURE 12. Livelihoods and Economic Resilience 47

Moderately Minimally, Not

Indicator Highly Vulnerable Vulnerable Vulnerable

Self-employment 66% 42% 42%

Stable employment, private or
10% 21% 26%
public sector
Received livelihood assistance 26% 0% 0%

The economic impact of the war was not, however, addressed through the provision of
livelihood assistance. Only 14.1 pe r cent of respondents, or one in seven, had rece ived
livelihood compensation. In all s uch cases, assistance was provided by JaB. 48 One res ident
of Hadatha e xplained that “I have los t my tobacco harvest since two years ago. We are all
here looking for someone to cover our business losses”. 49 Indeed, there was a greater
demand for livelihood assistance but, also, for that assistance to be broade ned to
provide further s ocial welfare s upport, according to Phase One surveys.50

Delayed Compensation

Further economic hards hip resulted due to the timing of housing compensation. While
assistance was frequently describe d as being “late”, this designation was not based upon
any intende d sche dule of de livery but, rathe r, upon the subjective perce ption, by
recipients, of when assis tance “should have” arrived. Eighty six pe r cent of survey
responde nts indicate d that their compensation had been “late ”. Of the two-thirds of
responde nts who indicated that such delays have resulted in economic hardship, most
(77 per cent) indicated that it had either prolonged the pe riod of time they had to rent
housing, the amount of trans portation they had to undertake and, in particular, their
ability to te nd their crops and livestock (Fig. 13).

Information in this table is based upon 119 Phase Two survey responses.
The amount received was neither requested by the surveyors nor specified by the respondents.
Personal commu nication, Hadatha, Lebanon, 8 Oct., 2008.
The percentages are based on a composite of 345 replies.

F IGURE 13. Economic Impact of Delayed Compensation 51

Highly Moderately Minimally, Not

Indicator Vulnerable Vulnerable Vulnerable

Loans taken for repairs 86% 52% 28%

Delayed compensation 95% 88% 63%
Delay-linked economic impact -57% -37% -37%

Change in income -69.6% -55.7% -17.6%

Specific Effects of Delays
Added rental costs 25.0% 20.0% 33.3%

Additional transportation 10.0% 6.7% 16.7%

Loss of agricultural productivity 40.0% 53.3% 0.0%

Loss of space for home business 5.0% 0.0% 16.7%

“Delays” in payments we re reported to have resulted in a 69.6 pe r cent de cline in

household revenue among the most vulnerable rathe r than 55.7 and 17.6 per cent
declines for the other two vulne rability categories. 52 One resident of Marwaheen who is
still awaiting compensation said, “I still need compensation for my agriculture. All the
people here de pend on agriculture and agriculture is the only main source for the
village”. 53 Had housing compensation been provided earlier, in the weeks following the
culmination of the July War, such individuals estimate d that the ir house hold would have
avoided substantial e xpenses and earned increased income.

The entrenchme nt of a “cycle of indebtedness” was also referred to by many

interviewees. Cons truction materia ls were ofte n purchased on credit shortly after the
July War’s end, thus allowing re-building to commence with little de lay. While prices
were re latively lowe r in the immedia te pos t-conflict phase, they soon rose. Business
owners and creditors then required repayment at the inflated amount, thus creating an
added econom ic burden for, in pa rticular, the m ost vulne rable. The continua tion of this
“cycle of indebtedness” will undermine opportunities for establis hing livelihoods and
accumulating capita l. Poverty, thus, was s olidified, in many cases, through the s low
pace of the housing compensation process and the loans necessitated by delays.

B2.2 Implica tions for Female Hea ded Households

As this study has thus far revealed, housing damage and housing compensation interacts
with existing forms of social exclusion and marginalisation. In particula r, significant
implications we re noted in relation to FHHs. Conflict, including in Le banon, results in
increased numbe rs of FHHs who ofte n face unique challe nges as well as spe cific forms of
informal social protection which we re found to influence the housing compe nsation and

Information in this table is based upon 118 Phase Two survey responses.
It must be noted, however, that the impact of delays was, essentially, the prolongation of the economic
impacts of war. As such, the similarity between the effects of war and the effects of delays are as expected.
Personal commu nication, Marwaheen, Lebanon, 17 Oct. 2008.

reconstruction processes following the July War. Yet, no actor engaged in the housing
compensation process opera ted with an articulate d strategy to address gende r or FHHs.

FHHs were found to have experienced similar levels of damage to the ir hous ing as the
research sample as a whole. In total, 50.0 per cent of their homes were either totally or
partially destroyed, compared to 48.3 per cent for the general sample. They estimated
the level of damage they experienced at 47.7 per cent, on average, compared to 49.2 per
cent for the total sample. That said, the progress made on the reconstruction of their
homes was significantly below average. Only 72.7 per cent consider the ir house to be
mostly or fully repaire d, compare d to 83.3 per cent for the total sample, and FHHs are
nearly two-thirds less likely than the total sample to live in a house which is only
‘partially’ or ‘totally re paire d’.

FHH Agency

While the data is not itself explana tory, interviews coupled with surveys suggest that the
“agency” of female heads of household makes them less able to effectively purs ue the
assistance they are owed. 54 For instance, despite 50.0 per cent of homes being classified
as partially or totally destroyed, not a single one of the 22 FHHs in the sample was, as of
October 2008, residing in a ne wly built house, as oppose d to 10.2 per ce nt of the total
sample. As a result, slightly more tha n average – 26.3 per cent as oppose d to 21.7 per
cent – are residing in eithe r a rented house or a relative’s house. Admittedly, this
discrepancy may be, in part, due to FHHs having moved into relative’s homes afte r the
deaths of their husbands, though under such circumstances they still s hould have
reported having rece ived com pensation. However, the key contributing factor to the lack
of new houses and to the slow pace of housing reconstruction – and low numbe rs
presently residing in a mostly or fully repaired house – are delays. While 85.6 per cent of
the total sample indicated that they had expe rienced ‘delayed compe nsation’, this
number was 95.5 per cent among FHHs. The CoS appeared to be the mos t notable s ource
of delays. While 39.2 perce nt of the total sample indica ted, during the Phase Two survey,
that CoS compensation was arriving too late, this num ber was 66.7 per cent among
FHHs. Put anothe r way, FHHs were 70.2 pe r ce nt m ore likely than the population at la rge
to experience de lays (or challenges pe rtaining to ‘timing’) in re ceiving CoS assistance.
Conversely, FHHs were less likely to have experienced delays in the rece ipt of assistance
from Jihad al Bina’a (7.1 per cent as opposed to 10.1 pe r cent for the total sample).

Gender-Based Social Protection

Yet, FHHs also appeared to rece ive both formal and informa l benefits. FHHs received
more than average per household levels of housing compensation, particula rly from the
CoS. 55 They were provide d with 22.8 per cent more housing compensa tion

Agency refers to the ability to convert one’s will into the corresponding desired outcomes. An individual who
possesses agency is able to bring about circumstances which he or she intends, whereas a person with little
agency is unable to do so at all or is unable to do so within the involvement of an “agent”, such as a husband or
male family member in the case of women. Agency may, in many ways, be most simply understood as
possessing power and influence.
Assistance provided to FHHs and, especially, war widows by non-state entities, particularly Hezbollah, is well
noted. Given that much of this assistance was provided outside of the s cope of hou sing compensation, it is not
addressed here.

(US$11,878.95) despite having similar levels of damage as the total survey sample. 56
Furtherm ore, they were approximately 60 per cent less likely to have been subject to
corruption. In total 22.0 per ce nt of the survey sample indica ted that they had
experie nced, first ha nd, corruption or bribery within the housing compensation process,
though the same he ld true for only 9.1 pe r ce nt of FHHs.

The socio-e conom ic position of women following the July War presents a sim ilarly split
picture. While FHHs we re by far the mos t likely group to re ceive livelihood
compensation, with 38.5 per cent of female heads of household having received such
payments from JaB as opposed to 14.1 per cent for the tota l sample, they were also
more likely to suffer econom ic hardship than the population at large. 57 FHHs reported
low pre-July War incomes, and they experienced substantial, though still somewhat
below average, reductions in income as a result of the conflict. In the post-July War
period, average annual income for FHHs was US$4,090.00. They also indicated that
delays in the payment of hous ing com pensation had cost them m ore than the average
household, 46 per cent versus 36 per cent. This disproportionate impact results from
women’s greater involvement in home-based ente rprises and agriculture, the two
livelihoods which were the most likely to s uffer as a result of housing damage and


Based on the above sections, it is apparent that economic and social marginalisation has
played a critical role in shaping housing damage and the resulting compe nsation. It
reflects some pos itive tre nds and implies that the GoLR, in particular, addressed
economic inequity by providing substantially greater assistance to those whose homes
had likely been the most modest. While this approach does not appea r to have been
formally planned or based on a gender or vulnerability strategy, the allowance for a
human dimension in the assessment of needs, which accounte d for poverty and
marginalisation, is effective.

Yet, as personal judgement benefited the mos t vulnerable, it may have also entrenched
certain forms of social exclus ion by disadvantaging FHHs in their pursuit of housing
compensation. As such, while the Le banese government and other actors must build
upon the sorts of informal dynamics describe d above, a gender or vulne rability strategy
cannot remain im plicit. A strategy for addressing questions of gender, FHHs, poverty and
other forms of vulnerability and marginalisation must be developed and accompanied by
specific instructions and guidelines on the implementation of that s trategy.

B2.3 Socio-Cultural Implications of Hous ing Compensation

Though not envisioned at the outse t of this study, cultural he ritage and its socio-cultural
implications emerged as a key topic during interviews with key stakeholders. Houses not

FHHs received an average of US$11,878.95 as opposed to 9,681.46 for the total sample.
While conclu sive evidence is not available, it seems that a proportion (though certainly not all or even most)
of FHHs, many of whom reportedly lost husbands and male family members during the July War, may have
received livelihood compensation as a form of bereavement payment from JaB, which is associated with the
non-state, armed group Hezbollah.

only provide shelte r but also represent a country’s heritage and identity. The loss of
archite cturally or culturally significant buildings is a great loss in many post-conflict
countries, as it was in Lebanon.

While many significant structures were damaged or des troyed during the July War, the
housing compensation process appears to have exacerba ted the level of destruction in
two key ways. First, the company charged with clearing rubble following the conflict,
being paid based on the amount of rubble clea red, is rumoure d to have destroyed
and/or removed the remains of culturally significant buildings and homes, thus
preventing the re-use of the stones and othe r materials. In othe r cases, they may have
destroyed building which, potentially, could have been salvaged in orde r to maxim ise
their profits. Second, owners of traditional homes which were damaged or partially
destroyed homes are be lieved to have demolished the rema ins in hopes of obtaining a
higher level of compensation.

According to the House in the South, a local Le banese NGO funde d by UN-HABITAT, the
Lebanese public agencies charged with protecting culturally significant buildings,
particularly the Dire ctorate Gene ral for A rchaeology, failed to fulfil their mandates.
Regulations regarding cultural heritage preservation were not enforce d. As a result,
culturally significant homes we re destroyed and replace d with mode rn, cement brick

The loss of cultural he ritage not only results in an aesthetic loss but also in the loss of
Lebanon’s sense of identity, history and na tionhood. Though seemingly disconnected
from issues of recons truction and governance, the built environment, as research from
post-conflict countries has shown, has the ability to communicate messages, particula rly
in heterogene ous societies, about the value of diversity and all cultures. Lebanon, due to
the erosion of its cultural heritage through wa r and reconstruction, is a less unique and
less stable country. Furthe rmore, given that Lebanon’s tourism potential is closely
associated with its cultural uniqueness and heterogeneity, the loss of cultural heritage
will undoubte dly reduce economic growth in this critical sector. Opportunities, as
discussed in the recommendation section, rema in to protect the country’s remaining
heritage from conflict, from “development” and from natura l disaste rs.

B2.4 “Reputa tional” Implications of Housing Compensa tion

The progress of the compensation and reconstruction process has implications for the
reputations of the CoS, of the central governme nt, of JaB, of donors from the MENA
region and of NGOs. In some res pects, these reputational ramifications may be conce ived
as closely re lated to the governance role and to the perceived legitimacy of each actor or

The table below (Fig. 14) illustrates the reputationa l implications of the housing
compensation process. It mus t be note d tha t, given the focus upon reputations and
governance implications, figures reflect attitudes e xpresse d by all responde nts rather
than solely among those who received assistance from the specified actors. Broadly
speaking, the results are encouraging for JaB and for regional donors who had provided
assistance dire ctly into communities, particularly Qatar, and negative for CoS and the

GoLR. While Phase Two surveys also assessed perceptions of donors, such as KSA, which
had provided substantial resources for housing compensa tion through the GoLR and
delivered by CoS, respondents demonstrated a very low level of awareness of these
donors’ support to the ir communities. This finding is itself significant in terms of donor
visibility, which appears to have been refreshingly minimal, and internal regional

F IGURE 14. Recipients’ Attitudes towards Key Actors 58

Regional Donors
Attitude CoS GoLR JaB (Qatar)

Better (%) 14 4 47 56
Worse (%) 36 57 19 2
Difference (%) -22% -53% +28% +54%

No change (%) 50 38 34 42

As evident in Figure 14, regional donors who provided assistance directly into
communities expe rience d the greatest public relations benefits. The worst effects
concerned public agencies. As anticipate d, perce ptions of the CoS, given its identifica tion
with southern Lebanon and direct role in delivering assistance, were ma rkedly better
than the Lebanese government (GoLR) as a whole.

While the subtle dynamics that construct a view of an actor include, for e xample,
political and sectarian affiliations, it is possible to note broad trends which led a
particular actor to experie nce greate r reputational effects of the hous ing compe nsation
process. These are explored in the following sub-sections.


The amount of assistance provided and the manner in which it was delivere d had major
implications for actors’ reputations. Qatar, which provided the grea test amounts of
compensation, rece ived the g reatest reputationa l benefits.

F IGURE 15. Housing Compe nsation Figures by Donor/Adoptive Country, Survey Results

Amount per Housing Unit Amount per Housing Unit

Compensation Provider
(US$), Phase One Survey (US$), Phase Two Survey

Qatar Adopted 36,760.00 32,388.89

CoS-Identified 26,271.15 9,681.46
Jihad al Bina’a 9,928.74 6,221.53

This table is based upon 119 Phase One survey results.
The ‘CoS-Identified’ category provides a composite of assistance provided through or in the name of the CoS.
This includes assistance provided through Stockholm and Paris III conferences as well as bi-lateral assistance
from donors in the MENA region such as KSA.

However, despite more assistance having been provided through the CoS, including that
provided by regional donors through the GoLR, JaB rece ived far greate r reputa tional
benefits. Political party affiliation and ideologies certainly influe nce reputational findings
though are impossible to isolate within the data. These findings are also likely influenced
by the fact that JaB reportedly provide d significant amounts of assistance, such as for
livelihoods, beyond the scope of the housing compe nsation process. As such, JaB may
have given more in net terms for reconstruction though somewhat less on a per
household basis for housing compensation. However, the manne r in which assistance
was provided also remains critical.

Delivery Process: Payment Schemes and Perceived Corruption

Survey respondents e xpressed a ma rked prefe rence for the manner in which assistance
had been provided by JaB and regiona l donors such as Qatar. Primarily, beneficiaries
appreciate d the rapid manner in which assistance was provide d, and 89.1 per cent
preferred the sort of single-payment scheme used by JaB rather than the two payments
in which CoS was (or will be) de livered and the three payments in which Kuwaiti
assistance was provided.

Conce rns regarding bias and corruption also factored into re cipie nts’ perce ptions of the
various actors engaged in the housing compensation process. Based on the Phase Two
survey, interesting findings related to perceived corruption levels emerged. The table
below (Fig. 16) reflects knowledge of and expe rience with corruption. Questions
regarding corruption were posed three sepa rate ways during the Phase Two survey given
that perce ptions of corruption frequently appeared, during pilot studies and Phase One,
to be influe nced by rumour ra ther than by individual e xperience. The figures conce rning
first-hand experie nce of corruption yield the m ost valid findings.

F IGURE 16. Experiences with a nd Pe rceptions of Corruption in Housing Compe nsation 60

Indicator Composite (%)

Firsthand experience of corruption 22.0

Friend, Family experience of corruption 37.4

Corruption in CoS compensation, all respondents 61.8

Corruption in CoS compensation, recipients of CoS-identified assistance 41.1

Corruption in JaB compensation, all respondents 38.2

Corruption in JaB compensation, recipients of JaB assistance 20.0

Information regarding regional donors is not provided given tha t the research team did
not possess sufficient data on this point. T hough inte resting, caution should guide any
analysis of these statistics. The wide variation in perceptions of corruption largely speaks
to the power of rumour and preconceptions. Valid findings may be, quite simply, that
approximately 22 per cent of individuals expe rience d corruption within the process. The
relative degree of corruption among the CoS and JaB assistance processes is difficult to

Information in this survey is based on 120 Phase Two survey responses.

ascertain given that significant role which political perceptions play. Furthermore, it is
difficult to identify the specific nature of the corruption which occurred, with
interviewees comm only indicating that sectarian and political biases, particula rly
between Hezbollah and Amal supporters, played a far more prom inent role than any
inappropriate diversion of resources.

It is, however, possible to conclude that the least corruption was expe rienced among the
most vulnerable. As previously indicated, FHHs experienced relatively little corruption,
9.1 as opposed to 22.0 per cent for the entire sample. Similarly, only 14.3 per cent of the
most socio-e conom ically vulnerable experienced corruption as oppose d to 47.8 per cent
of those at a moderate vulnerability level.61 A form of informal social protection appears
to have benefited marginalised groups. As discussed in the recommendations section,
such forms of social protection may be inte ntionally expanded in the future to
encompass wider populations, such as all those who suffer damage during conflict.

Preferred Assistance Provide rs

Largely determine d by the aforementione d dynamics, survey and interview respondents

had clear prefe rences regarding the actor from which they would prefer to re ceive
assistance during future com pensation processes (and, presumably, during future
reconstruction or developme nt interventions). These are reflected in the graph below
(Fig. 17).

F IGURE 17. Recipients’ Donor Prefe rences for Future Com pensation/Assistance

As is evident, more than half of all survey responde nts prefe r to re ceive future
compensation dire ctly from a regional donor. Given that regional donors commonly
worked in villages with the greates t levels of damage, those with damaged houses have
little expe rience with them and, hence, are less likely to prefer them. JaB assistance,
while desired by slightly less than a fifth of all res ponde nts, likely received a lower score

Interestingly, those at the middle level of vulnerability experienced the greatest level of corruption while
those at the two extremes e xperienced lower levels. Those with little or no vulnerability appear to have been
somewhat protected by their socio-economi c stature, despite their ability to pay.
These percentages are based on a composite of 104.

given that they were primarily perceived as having been involved in providing assistance
for re ntal housing and home furnishings rathe r than specifically for housing

While the findings related to NGOs are deemed suspect given that res ponde nts knew
those collecting data were affiliated with the Norwegia n Refugee Council (NRC), an
interes ting trend eme rged. Though only 10.4 per cent of respondent, overall, prefe rred
to receive com pensation from an NGO, this figure was 16.0 pe r ce nt among FHHs and
18.2 per cent among the most socio-economically vulnerable. Though certa inly not
overwhelming, it does im ply that, to a certain deg ree, NGOs are viewed as an actor
relatively focused upon the nee ds of ma rginal groups.

B2.5 Section Conclusion

The housing compe nsation process in southern Le banon has had a complex impact with
implications for econom ic development, gender, poverty, governance and reputations.
Many people have been able to return to their repaire d or rebuilt homes, though an
unacceptable number remain without a permanent residence. Others, it is fea red though
not ade quately known, may have returne d to houses which are not structurally sound
and which should have been fully rebuilt had sufficient resources been provided. Delays
in the process, which particula rly affecte d FHHs, resulted in substantial financial losses
among all groups and, most notably, among the most vulnerable. Yet, forms of informal
social protection seem to have emerged, allowing the m ost vulnerable to re ceive
relatively greater amounts of assistance and less corruption. The effects upon the
reputations of those involved, as a result of these and many othe r factors, were
substantial. The Lebanese governme nt and its implementing a rm, the CoS, saw their
standing diminished across the South while JaB and, almost certainly, its widely reported
organisational pa rent, Hezbollah, grew more popular and influential.

The compensation process allowed many pe ople to return home, though far too many
remain dis placed m ore than two years after the July War’s end. Housing compe nsation
reflecte d promising and useful forms of social prote ction which allowe d the most
vulnerable and FHHs to receive additional compe nsation in recognition of their
heightened nee ds. Yet, the lack of any formal strategies and the impos ition of delays
upon the mos t vulnerable, may have simultaneously entrenche d poverty and social
exclusion. The final section of Pa rt B attempts to suggest strategies for im proving the
impact and ma ximising opportunities by providing a se ries of recomme ndations to
improve the ongoing com pensation process and future compensation processes, should
they unfortunately become necessary.

B3. Recommendations for Housing Compensation
for Today’s & Tomorrow’s
Housing Compensation Processes

Based upon the aforementioned findings it is possible to identify numerous

recommenda tions a pplicable to both the ongoing housing compensation processes and
to future such processes, whethe r in response to conflict or natural disaste r.

B3.1 For the Ongoing Compensation Process

The following recommendations pe rtain to the ongoing process. Given the significant
investment which has already been made and the amount of housing which ha d been
rehabilitated or rebuilt, many improvements will be costly and difficult but also
necessary to solidify the recent investments in this sector.

Assess and Address Structural Quality of Rehabilita ted Hous ing. While this report has
not yet addressed the question of structural integrity of constructe d and rehabilitated
homes, there is reason to be conce rned. As elaborate d in the following sections, houses
were re-built and rehabilitated with no te chnical oversight. Materials have reporte dly
been of poor quality, a fact which was e xacerba ted by rampant inflation. The ability of
homes to withstand a significant natural disaster, in particula r, is unknown and doubtful.
This assessment should begin with a representative sample of houses across the South,
in order to identify the grea test needs before eventually including a house-by-house
assessment of structural integrity. Information from the initial assessment should be
used in orde r to provide information regarding structural improvements to people in the
South. Given that these assessments may (and should) lead to a massive investment in
structural mitigation, it s hould be done by a fully indepe ndent firm with absolutely no
ties to the Lebanese government. Allowing Khatib and Alami, which appears to have had
an open-ende d contract with the Lebanese government for a t least 14 years and which
won the ‘War Damage Assessment Project’ through a non-com petitive process, may not
be sufficiently indepe ndent to remain involved in such assessments.

The structural assessment is inte nded to elucidate widespread structural weaknesses.

These are unacceptable and open te ns of thousands of people to injury and death in the
case of an earthquake or conflict. Though doing so may require an investment of
additional hundreds of millions of US dollars, it is ne cessary in orde r to solidify and
prote ct the investment already made in southern Leba non’s housing. Resources for
structural improvements may come in the form of outsta nding payments from the CoS
but will ce rtainly need to be supported with additional funds. Donors from within the
MENA region are m ost inclined to provide such assistance, and they are encouraged to
do so.

Improving infrastructure s hould build upon an effective model employed by UN-
HABITAT. Regional Technical Offices (RTOs), which this organisation established, may
provide an effective model through which to provide te chnical assistance. While notable
for having been one of the few structured providers of technical assistance, RTOs are
likely to prove fina ncially uns ustainable, covered relatively small geographical a reas and
“held” technical capacity rather than attempting to disseminate it widely through
training of traine rs. A more dece ntralised system focused upon ca pacity building at the
community level, with scaled-down, financially self-sus taining RTO-like structures
providing quality assurance, is needed.

Complete Outsta nding Payments. In line with the recommendation above, the de livery
of remaining compe nsation payments provides an excellent opportunity to disseminate
information regarding structural s trengthening and m itigation (as in the case of an
earthquake). All outstanding payments mus t be made by those engaged in the housing
compensation processes. At present, only one-quarte r individua ls surveyed during Phase
One have received their second payment from the Council of the South (CoS). While the
High Re lief Commission (HRC) indicates that payments cannot be made until donors
meet commitments, it appears that sufficient exte rnal resources have already been
made available to meet needs identifie d by the CoS. The HRC indicates tha t it has
received US$472 million from regional donors, and CoS assessments indicate that
US$440 million is required to recons truct and rehabilitate destroyed or damaged houses
in the “a dopte d” southern communities. If pledges to the Governme nt of the Le banese
Republic (GoLR) have not been made, they must be. If they have been made, the funds
should be distributed as soon as possible. The ongoing review by Khatib and Alami, which
is intended to measure whethe r compensation is being used for re construction rather
than the quality of the construction being unde rtaken, lacks credibility and is, in many
respects, impossible. As Khatib and Alami re presentatives themselves admitte d, the
degree of reconstruction and rehabilitation across the South, coupled with the lack of
prope rty records, makes is possible to see what progress has been made and at what
time. This assessment should cease, and compensa tion should be provided in full as soon
as possible. If not, explanations for furthe r delays must be made convincingly and
publicly in order to stre ngthen public confidence in the governme ntal agencies involved
in the compe nsation process.

Link Livelihood Activities and Housing Reconstruction. Given the close relationship
between housing com pensation (or reconstruction) and livelihoods, interna tional
organisations should focus livelihood activities upon areas which had experie nced the
greatest levels of damage and which have yet to re ceive the ir full owed compe nsation
Doing so will ensure that economic development helps to generate sufficie nt funds to
finance re construction or to allow inde bted community members to re-pay outstanding
loans. Doing so may also help to facilitate return in areas which are still unde r-populated
due to post-July War displaceme nt.

Improve Services to Female Headed Households. The study showed the manner in
which FHHs have expe rience d greate r delays and have faced additional difficulties
accessing compensation payments at appropria te levels. In order to rectify this situation,
a special commission for women should be established in order to assess the rece ipt of

compensation by FHHs and the barrie rs they have encounte red. This commission should
also possess the authority to direct payments to FHHs immediately and to, potentially, to
compensate them for the added delays they have experience d. Civil society
representatives, including international organisations, should advocate for the creation
of such a commission and, regardless of whethe r or not it is esta blishe d, monitor women
and FHHs’ access to owed compensation.

Provide ‘Customer Service’. In addition to being late, the housing compensation process
has also been opaque. Many interviewees indicate d that the duration of delays
combine d with the lack of information regarding their cause has left the impress ion that
the remaining funds have been “stolen” by the Lebanese government. Clearly, better
information management or “custome r service” is necessa ry. Given the e xpense and
time required to establis h an effective and centralised system, a lower-tech approach
should be employed involving information boards which reflect the amount owe d to
each individual, the s tatus of the claim, the reasons for any delays and, if possible, the
anticipa ted pe riod of payment. These lists will allow recipients to feel comfortable that
they had rece ived the full amount owed. Key stakeholders indica ted that the risk of
provoking intra-community tensions was low given that diffe ring levels of compe nsation
were pe rceived to be appropriate ra ther than s ignifying bias or partisanship.

Salvage Cultural Heritage. Remaining cultural heritage should be salvaged. Traditional or

archite cturally significant homes should be protected, and their demolition or
modifica tion should be prohibited. Materials, in the form of rubble, from customary
buildings should be gathered and used to construct tra ditional buildings and houses.
Investment from relevant foundations and UNESCO should be s ought for this

B3.2 For Future Compensation Processes

A fundamental conceptual shift must be applied whe n considering future compe nsation
processes. Rather than conce iving compensation as an end within itse lf, it must be
viewed as a launching point for reconstruction and developme nt. By doing so, those key
donors and public agencies will be forced to conside r not only the disbursement of funds
but also the relevance, quality and cost-effectiveness of the subsequent reconstruction.
That said, the com pensation process itself mus t also be professionalized and subject to
greater consistency, coordination and professionalism.

Establish a Cadas tral System. Housing compensation would have proved a substantially
easier undertaking had accurate records e xisted regarding land te nure and the s tructures
which existe d upon each plot. The GoLR m ust esta blish a mode rn system to monitor land
ownership and construction so that assessment of damage is not based on the interes ts
and perceptions of municipal officials and governmental pers onnel.

Assess Housing Damage by Using a Fully Independent Firm and Complemented by

Community Involvement. While the aforeme ntioned ca dastral system would simplify
claims of hous ing damage, an independent engineering firm, one with no history of
working with the GoLR, should be used in orde r to assess s tructural damage. The current
approach, using municipal officials and CoS personnel to de termine whe ther a house is

damaged or des troyed, is unprofessiona l and creates e xtensive opportunities for
corruption. Given the s ignificance of this assessment process, independe nce is critical. An
engineering firm from within the region or beyond is re commended.

This profess ional process must be accompanie d by community-driven monitoring.

Communities, including the public and not solely officials, have traditionally proven
accurate in assessing damage and in using compensation to address economic and social
vulnerability. As such, community oversight of needs assessments should be fully
integrated e ithe r prior to the professional assessment, which would then serve as an
audit, or following it, as a means of validation.

Establish Time Limits for Compensa tion Cla ims. Claims of la nd owne rship or damage
following conflicts have frequently dragged on for many years following the cessation of
hostilities. Such a situation ofte n leads to economic confusion within households, within
the state and within the private sector. In future compensa tion processes in southern
Lebanon, a specific window of time, generally not m ore than 18 months, should be
established for rece iving, assessing and appealing compensation claims. Doing so may
require the involvement of external enginee rs or arbitration e xperts, though
“inte rnationalising” the process is preferable to allowing it to drag onwa rd for more than
two (and, ultimate ly, probably up to four) years

Capacity Build the Cons truction Sector. As previous ly noted, there are indications that
housing recons truction has been done without ade quate technical e xpertise and
assistance. Ammar, informal contractors, were utilised without the involvement of
engineers due to financial concerns. As a result, the quality of re constructed housing is
troubling at best. Training for ammar as well as for individuals, who are commonly
involved in the reconstruction of the ir own homes, is ne cessary. Successful and replicable
models for such tra ining have been provided throughout the Middle East, particularly in
Yemen, and are ongoing through the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Lebanon.
Such trainings must be provided in advance of mass housing damage and would best be
done through a technical exte nsion se rvice structure such as that utilised within UN-
HABITAT’s Regional Technical Offices (RTOs). Such a programme should involve
governmental officia ls within the Union of Municipalities who facilita te a highly
professional training of trainers for at least three to five individuals within each

Utilise a Trust Fund Mechanism to Fina nce Future Compensation. The financing of
housing com pensation in s outhe rn Le banon was far too complex. Given that each actor
was, with little regula tion, pe rmitted to provide assista nce, the amount received by any
individua l did not reflect his or his household’s need but the generosity of the “adoptive”
country and its willingness to engage with the Lebanese government. A better system
would involve a trus t fund mecha nism which would ce ntra lise all contributions. Managed
by the GoLR and overseen by a boa rd of directors re presenting all prominent donor
countries, this fund would allow funds to be monitore d through a highly professional
auditor. During the time betwee n a donors’ contribution and its disbursement, funds in
the trust fund would be able to earn interes t and capital gains from investments, an
approach currently used by the Kuwait Fund for Ara b Economic Development.

The centralisation of funds would also mitigate inter-community tensions by avoiding
situations in which donors from the MENA region use housing compensation and the
“adoption” of particula r villages as a part of a broade r trend of secta rian competition.
Put another way, a central source of funds could allow resources to be dis bursed
according to needs rathe r than according to irre levant and pote ntially dis ruptive social or
political factors.

Engage Services of an Independent Auditor. This trust fund must be professionally and
centrally audited. Doing so is critical to ens uring that no funds are diverted for
uninte nded purposes. Firms with a long history of working with the Le banese
government should be exclude d from com petition.

Utilise Informal Protection to Minimise Corruption and Partisanship. The ongoing

housing compensation reflecte d the pote ntial for individuals to informally benefit FHHs
and the most vulne rable. They we re provided more assistance and, critically,
experie nced less corruption. Such a dynamic may be fostered intentionally through
public information cam paigns which describes corruption in any reconstruction,
development or compensation process as a form of theft which harms those in nee d. The
involvement of religious leaders and others pe rceived as possessing moral authority
would likely be effective in helping to reduce corruption, as demonstrated by Jihad al

Establish Institutions, including Actionable Strategies, to Support Female Headed

Households. Future compensation processes should attempt to avoid the sorts of
problems which can be seen in the ongoing compe nsation process. The firs t and most
important s tep will be for all actors involved to develop a gende r policy and an
actionable strategy with a corresponding impleme ntation manual. Individuals involved in
housing compe nsation should be trained on the use of this gender im plementa tion
manual. Given the cha llenges of interna l monitoring, external bodies, likely NGOs, should
be formally involved in assessing the needs and situation of women with regard to
housing compensation. These NGOs, which should be f unded by interna tional bilateral or
multila teral donors, will serve as advocates throughout the process and regularly report
on the position of women.

Strengthen “Customer Service” Mechanisms. In the ongoing compensation process as

well as in future such processes, ongoing contact be tween beneficiaries and assistance
provide rs must be s trengthened. Be neficia ries currently expressed a lack of knowledge
regarding whom to conta ct with ques tions. During the Phase One survey, 28.1 per cent
of responde nts indicated a need for greate r information regarding the housing
compensation process. Many such respondents described being passed between
different offices – whe ther public agencies or the embassies and consulates of regional
donors – without ever having their basic questions resolved. Doing so, as previously
noted, led to a worse expe rience and inflated pe rceptions of corruption. With a
centralised financing mechanism, a centralise d custome r service or ombudsman office
could be established within the CoS to provide information as requested and to mange
the information flow between the state and comm unities. A lower-cost solution could
involve furnishing municipalities with monthly or bi-monthly updates regarding the

status of housing compe nsation, including detaile d information regarding the assessment
of damage.

Enforce Cultural Heritage-Related Regulations. Public agencies res ponsible for cultural
heritage prese rvation and prote ction should be provided with sufficient resources and a
clear mandate to enforce existing regulations. While this study did not review policies
and regulations re lated to cultural heritage in the housing sector, UNESCO and other
relevant inte rnational bodies should likely work with the GoLR in orde r to e nsure that
these are aligned with inte rnational s tandards and bes t practices.

Promote “Rationa l” Housing Recons truction. Homes a re culturally important locations

governed by socio-cultural expectations in addition to legal frameworks. In Lebanon,
according to inte rviewees and s takeholder cons ultations, homes a re a source of
immense pride and aspiration; a house is a lifelong investment which is rarely perce ived
to be comple te. As such, individuals were found, during field visits, to have rehabilitated
and reconstruction the ir houses with the intention of adding to their size and/or
opulence. While not intrinsically inappropriate, such de cisions often made it difficult for
households to produce buildings which were habitable in the short te rm, thus prolonging
their displacement. In other instances, it resulted in a need to take loans and assume
substantial debt. The Lebanese governme nt should prom ote “rational” re construction
which allows families to firs t re build a core structure before attempting aesthetic
improvements. Simple pamphle ts and bills of quantity can allow individuals rece iving
compensation to unde rstand the level of resources necessary to build a basic and
structurally sound home. The result will be a more logical process and one which first
aims to build a basic structure for their fam ily which a llows them to re turn to their home
communities as soon as possible while leaving the opportunity for future expansion and
aesthetic improvement.

Part C
C1. The Need for emergency Preparedness
The Need for
Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness is a social and technical process. It aims, at its core, to ensure
that communities and individuals a re be tter protected from the damaging effe cts of
disasters, whethe r natural or human made. In the context of Lebanon, a country which
lies along multiple fault lines and which has a lengthy history of conflict with its southern
neighbour, it is critical to saving lives and protecting previous investments made into the
country’s infrastructure.

This report looks broadly at the nee d for and options conce rning eme rgency
preparedness in Lebanon. Yet it primarily does so within the context of housing. The
more than US$1 billion investment in housing com pensation, with a comparable
investment likely having been made by individuals, must be fully protected. Similarly,
families and comm unities must engage in a collaborative process which will allow them
to respond to crises in an optimal manne r, thus saving lives and ensuring that the most
vulnerable a re adequa tely looked after.

Unlike Part B, which focused primarily upon findings of the surveys, questionnaires and
structure d interviews, this se ction aims to develop stra tegies and options for
implementing emergency pre paredness planning (EPP) in Lebanon with less emphasis
upon quantitative data. Part B is, as a whole, an outline of recommendations, and no
specific recomme ndations section is included.

C1.1 Linking Housing Compensa tion and Emergency Preparedness

Housing com pensation provided the ba ckdrop for emergency preparedness. The houses
rebuilt since the July War are likely to be once again tested by earthquakes or, all hopes
to the contrary, violent confrontation. The ability of homes and buildings to s urvive
indirect strikes or a powe rful earthquake is unknown. When asked who was responsible
for assessing the structural integrity of rebuilt homes, the lead engineer from Khatib and
Alami’s ‘War Damage Assessment Project’ responded, “[n]o one is doing it.”63 While the
research team did not include enginee rs or a technical assessment of rebuilt homes,
though it was led by an architect, all involved in this study conclude that there is cause
for conce rn for two key reasons which are outlined below.

First, the reconstruction of hous ing took place without the benefit of technical expertise.
As one interviewee from Hadatha indicated, “the quality of my house used to be be tter
than today due to the delayed payment; I had to borrow whatever buildings materia ls
and whatever labours to be able to finish as quick as I can so I can move quickly to my

Interview with Khatib and Alami personnel, Beirut, 2 Dec. 2008.

house”. 64 Homes were primarily built by individual homeowne rs and by relatively low-
skilled builde rs known as ammar. While most s uch individuals have experience with
construction, few had technical expe rtise or involved enginee rs or archite cts in the
design of their re constructed homes. A training programme targeting individuals in the
construction sector, impleme nted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), may
help to improve technical knowle dge and skills but has not had an effect upon the now
largely complete reconstruction of housing in the South. Technical assistance was
provided by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HA BITAT), though
its entry into southern Lebanon in late 2007 meant that, according to UN-HABITAT staff,
most houses had already been repaire d or re-built. The Regional Technica l Offices (RTOs)
which UN-HABITAT establis hed, ofte n through im plementing partne rs, in three Unions of
Municipalities developed highly effective approaches and informa tion materia ls but
targeted only 21 communities, or approximately 8 pe r cent of those in the South. They
have undoubtedly had an impact upon individuals still e ngaged in housing re construction
in late 2007 and 2008, primarily among individuals with tota lly destroyed houses, but
were not im plemente d widely or early enough to have a major impact.

Second, the rising cos ts of construction materia ls (see Fig. 18) may have meant that
houses and other s tructures built recently are not of a sufficient quality. While
informants indicate d tha t individuals who received assistance or purchased materia ls
early may have avoided the rampant inflation, it is unce rtain to the degree which this is
the case. Also, while one informant from UN-HABITAT highlighted that “If a person nee ds
4 bars of iron, he will use 2 extra”, the limited amount of technica l assistance does not
ensure that such mate rials were used wisely or appropriate ly. Numerous stakeholde rs
indicate d having seen homes with large amounts of materials utilised but primarily in
ceilings, thus increasing rathe r than mitigating the possibility that an earthquake or other
disaster would result in a house’s collapse.

F IGURE 18. Inflation in Building Materials, Post July War

Market Price (US$)

Material Jun-06 Dec-06 Jun-07 Dec-07 Jun-08 Sep-08
Sand, per m 9.6 10.3 11.8 11.8 15.1 15.6
Gravel, per m 10.1 10.3 12.3 12.8 15.1 15.6
Cement, per tonne 78.6 85.6 90 94.6 104.4 108.6
Steel, per tonne 605 647.5 755.8 978.3 1641.6 1166.6
Aluminium, per m 70 81 87.5 95 111.25 111.25
Wood, per m 270 307.5 346.25 370 400 417.5

C1.2 Other Weaknesses

In addition to a troubling infrastructural conte xt, southe rn Lebanon is also vulne rable to
disasters, particularly earthquakes, given the low level of awareness and the fragmented
responsibility for prepa redness. As a result, individuals are less inclined to e ngage in

Personal commu nication, Hadatha, Lebanon, 9 Oct. 2008.

preparedness activities, particula rly when they involvement investment, and action by
the state is hampe red by competition and inte rnal rivalries.


Studying awareness or pe rceptions of particular phe nomenon is com plex given the
numerous biases involved. In particula r, respondents may wish to seem m ore awa re than
they in actuality are. In addition, respondents may pe rceive a threat but consider it
insufficient to me rit attention or mitigation, pa rticularly when doing s o requires a
financial investment. Theses biases play themselves out in the survey findings (Fig. 19)
pertaining to the threat of southern Lebanon’s most likely natura l disaste r, earthquakes.

F IGURE 19. Perceptions of Ea rthquake Threat and Damage65

Indicator Response (%)

Perceives threat from earthquake 67.5

Believes community has been affected by earthquakes 68.6
House has been damaged by an earthquake 48.7

Feels less safe due to possibility of earthquakes 28.9

Has made repairs to address earthquake damage/risk 7.9

As indicated in the above table, more than two-thirds of individuals across the South
perceive a threat from earthquakes and have been affected by earthquakes, though this
effect freque ntly amounted to having felt tremors. A smaller numbe r, only half, have
experie nced housing damage related to earthquakes, primarily non-structural damage
such as cracks in plaste r (87.8 per ce nt). Less than half of those who pe rceive a vaguely
termed ‘threat’ felt less safe from earthquakes (28.9 per cent), a number which was
higher (50.0 per cent) among female-headed households (FHHs). Fewer still felt that the
damage they had expe rience d merited repairs (7.9 pe r cent). 66

From these numbers it is possible to conclude that the re is widespread, though far from
universal, awareness that earthquakes pose some sort of risk to southern Lebanon.
However, this risk is only deeply fe lt, res ulting pe rceptions of be ing less safe, by less than
30 per cent of the population. Fewer still may find the threat sufficiently significant to
merit s pending on m itigation measures.

Fragmented Responsibilities and Interventions

Second, southern Lebanon is an exceptiona lly com plex and contested region. T he ce ntral
government has low levels of legitimacy among m uch of the population, and the non-
state entities (NSEs) have taken a stronger role tha n the s tate in delivering governance
and basic services. Extra-governmental authority remains marked by com petition

Information in this table is based upon 114 Phase Two survey responses.
It must be noted that the low level of responses concerning repairs could be influenced by the unfounded
perception, despite assurance s to the contrary, that the study could result in responde nts receiving assistance
for repairs.

between Hezbollah and Amal, and Pales tinian camps, under the aegis of the UN Relief
and Works Agency (UNRWA), remain largely beyond state control. The influence of
countries from MENA region is strong and varied, and the South has commonly been
used, as in the housing compensation process, as a site of rivalries between these
nations. The GoLR’s role is centra l though far from total, and it remained aware of only a
portion of interventions relate d to reconstruction after the July War.

Even within the government, responsibility for emergency preparedness is mixed and
conteste d. Various individuals indicated that both the Lebanese Arme d Forces (LAF) and
the High Relief Commission (HRC) retains ultimate authority for prepa redness and
disaster response. While the reality is difficult to ascertain, it seems that the HRC would
lead responses to natural disasters but would require resources from the LAF while the
Army would possess ultima te governmental authority in the event of attacks from
abroad. Nonethe less, the LAF are developing an eme rgency response plan with
international involvement (see below). The Civil Defence comprises anothe r key actor
which m ust be taken into consideration. At the sub-national level, Governors’ and
Mayors’ offices were involved in res ponding to past crises, and Unions of Municipalities
at the kada’a level were established after the July War in order to provide greater
coordination among stakeholde rs and, in particular, municipalities.

The range of inte rnational inte rventions re lated to emergency prepa redness and
response is fragmenting the situation furthe r. These are outlined below.

 The United Na tions Inte rim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) is committed to supporting
post-disaste r response at the GoLR’s request. At present, UNIFIL is engaging in
emergency response e xercises, comprised primarily of small-scale field s imulations,
with LAF. The next e xercises are planned for January 2009.

 The GoLR has established a National Disaste r Management Committee which has
developed a draft ‘Response Plan for Natural and Industrial Disasters’, dated 12
August 2008, which will guide public efforts following crises. This Committee, which
is led by Gene ral Zourob, lacks technica l expertise and expe rience with disaster
preparedness and response and, by the request of its head, is charged with
instructing governmental offices and m inistries rathe r tha n with pursuing
preparedness inde pendently, with its own staff and with its own financing. 67 The
decision to do so is largely based upon a desire to avoid the presence and pe rception
of corruption among the Committee’s leadership and staff, though a lack of
independent financial control has significantly limited the Committee’s

 The Unite d Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the GoLR develope d a
national-level emergency response plan in 1996 which is, to this day, intended to
guide activities following a ma jor disaste r. Despite the importance ascribed to this
document, no key stakeholders were able to locate a copy of the plan or describe its

Such an approach is interesting and may contribute to enhanced governmental ownership and a truly
integrated approach to preparedness. However, the poor intra-governmental relations and competition
between public agencies makes such an approach highly challenging.

 UNDP is, according to UN pe rsonne l, engaged in designing a programme to
strengthe n EPP and response at the national level. Its content is not yet available for
public consumption.

 International organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontiers have, according to

reports, undertaken sector-specific inventories of resources available for post-
disaster response (i.e., in the health sector) according to individua ls involved in

 The Kuwait Fund for A rab Economic Development has allocate d funds for and
designed three emergency response centres – with anothe r three re quested by the
GoLR – to be establis hed throughout Lebanon rather than solely in the South. These
will primarily involve the Civil Defence and, in a more limited manne r, the Unions of

 Other activities are also reporte d, such as a research project at the American
University of Beirut (AUB) pe rtaining to best practices in housing design. Though not
relevant to public preparedness, interna tiona l organisations, primarily the UN
system, has established contingency plans, such as the UN Inter-Agency Contingency
Plan, to protect their staffs and, to the degree feasible, maintain continuity of

These interventions and plans are uncoordina ted, and few actors were aware of the
plans being made and programmes being designed by other relevant stakeholders. More
surprising was the guarde d manne r in which all documents we re treated. The research
team was unable to re ceive copies of pla ns, aside from the developed by the LAF, thus
reflecting another challe nge for a coordinated or integra ted approach: confidentiality.

The best attempt at coordinating planning and response has, in this content, emerged at
lower levels. The Union of Municipalities of Tyre, in particular, has led a promising effort
to develop a kada’a-level plan with the involvement of, at least, the Civil Defence, Al-
Kayan, Islamic Rissala Scout, UN-HABITAT, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the
International Medical Corps (IMC). Through half a doze n meetings, this informal g roup
has identifie d the need to plan jointly, though its tangible planning process will be, in
part, dete rmined by the findings of this study.

The following two sections, C2 and C3, provide recomme ndations, structural and non-
structural, applicable to the Union of Municipalities and, particularly, to the
municipalities of s outhe rn Lebanon themselves.

FIGURE 20. Structural and Non-Structural Components of Emergency Preparedness
C2. Emergency Preparedness Planning

Both the infrastructural and the social, governance-oriented weaknesses describe d in the
previous section m ust be resolved if Lebanon, particularly the South, is to minimise the
destructive ramifica tions of natural and huma n-made disasters. The recommendations
and analysis include d within this and the subsequent section als o ce rtainly apply to othe r
parts of Lebanon and, particula rly, to Palestinian camps. The fact that data collection
focused upon the South – and, corres pondingly, that the report focuses upon the South –
should not lead readers to conclude that emergency preparedness and disaster risk
mitigation (DRM) activities are solely needed in the South.

This section addresses the organisationa l re quirements before turning, in the next
portion of this report, to questions of structural mitigation.

C2.1 Levels of Intervention

As previously mentioned, emergency prepa redness is taking place within a highly

fragmented institutional setting. Public agencies appear to have overlapping mandates
for emergency prepa redness and response. Rivalries betwee n levels of governance and
institutions make, furthe rmore, the selection of any presently engaged stakeholde r
highly challe nging. In such circumstances, the preferred pa rtne r is highly de centralised, in
this case the municipalities themse lves.


Municipalities are the lowes t level of governance in the Lebanese political system. They
are electe d from among their communities and a re deemed to be highly trus ted. In
addition, by being in close proximity to their communities, they a re able to provide
information and coordinate small-s cale prepa redness and planning activities. They do,
however, face two major challenges. First, their position at the bottom of the hierarchy
makes them unable to mobilise res ources as would, for instance, a governor or HRC
official. Second, they a re increasingly being provide d with new duties and responsibilities
both by the central government and by interna tional organisations attempting to purs ue
decentralisation agendas. As such, it will be critical to ensure that adequate res ources
are provided for all activities, that municipa l officials are organisers rather than direct
implemente rs for mos t activities and that, finally, they are linked to highe r levels of
Unions of Municipalities

These higher-level connections can be provided and currently are provided through the
Unions of Municipalities. These structures organise and coordinate municipal-level
activities and he lp to disseminate information to municipalities from other governmenta l
bodies and from inte rnational organisations. Created in the afte rmath of the July War,
they are intended to serve as the primary coordination body for the municipalities unde r
their jurisdiction.

In the case of emergency preparedness, Unions of Municipalities may provide an

effective entry point for all actors and, as with UN-HA BITAT’s RTOs, provide technica l
assistance. Doing so would allow for information to be disseminated to the Unions of
Municipalities, to the municipalities themselves and, finally, to comm unity members.
That said, Unions which oversee la rge numbe rs of municipalities may be unable to do so.
In such instances, dire ct action in communities, pa rticularly by interna tiona l
organisations and NGOs, will be be neficial and necessary.

When pre paring for eme rgency response, Unions of Municipalities a re also the mos t
appropriate response centres. While establishing a standing emergency response centre
is not cost effective, they may at least be charged with gathering information regarding
damage and needs in the immediate aftermath of na tural disasters or a rmed attacks in
order to ensure that those engaged in response, the LAF, the Civil Defence, the CoS and
international organisations, are able to target the ir resources appropria tely. If the Unions
of Municipalities will fill such a role, they should be provided space in appropriate,
earthquake-resis tant prem ises which would be easy to access in the event of an
earthquake (presuming that many roads would be blocked for several days), which has a
reliable, back-up energy supply system and which would not be a target of externa l
aggression. (This final point is critical given that the Civil Defence, around which the
Kuwait Fund is building its emergency response centres, has previously been targeted by
the Israeli military.) Furtherm ore, these loca tions should be provide d with protection,
possibly through an affilia tion with the Red Cross, from military attack. The two locations
which we re seen did not appear suitable given that they were based in relatively tall
buildings in crowde d urban areas. They were both difficult to access and were s o
centrally locate d tha t attacks ta rgeting othe r locations could easily affect them.’

This report’s authors strongly encourage the Kuwait Fund, which is currently engaged in
several of the best designed infrastructure and developme nt interventions in the
country, to contribute to premises for the emergency response centres for the Unions of
Municipalities in each kada’a. The central government, inte rnational organisations, the
LAF and othe rs should also contribute to the construction of these premises, though they
should be kept complete ly detached from the country’s military and politica l

National Disaster Management Committee

While this report focuses upon m unicipal-level planning, the authors feel s trongly tha t
national-level activities should be maintained unde r the authority of the Nationa l

Disaster Management Committee. In its current form, with little capacity and no
independent budget, the Comm ittee is unable to effect change. Yet, the leadership of
the Committee also recognise its weaknesses, its nee d for capacity and the need to avoid
the pe rception of partisans hip or corruption. In order to facilitate na tional-level planning,
substantial resources m ust be m obilised to build the capacity of the Comm ittee a nd its
personne l. Furtherm ore, it must manage to gain control of finances while still
maintaining its integrity, a goal which may be reache d through the involvement of two
systems: (i) monitoring by an indepe ndent, professional auditing firm and (ii) oversight
by a steering committee or board of governors including individuals from major
international and non-governmental organisations, from key public agencies and from
particularly involved and generous donors from the Gulf States. With an accounta ble and
transpare nt financial management system and qualified human res ource, the Nationa l
Disaster Management Committee will be able to fulfil its mandate. It must be prepa red,
through its capacity building, to combine a pa rticipatory planning process which builds
upon plans developed by municipalities and Unions of Municipalities with a highly
command-oriente d approach to disaster response.

While this study did not include an assessment of the needs or capacities of Pales tinia n
camps with regard to emergency prepa redness, these sites will clea rly require specific
attention. Structurally weak and socially vulnerable, UNRWA should take special
measures to strengthen infrastructure and to initiate comprehensive planning processes
coordinated with their own internal processes and procedures. As discussed late r in this
report, pre paredness activities which cover a geog raphical area including both
Palestinian and Le banese popula tions could be effective in building trust and socia l
cohesion while buffering all from the effects of natural and human-made disasters

C2.2 Culture of Preparedness

The goal of these institutions should not sim ply be to create an emergency response
centre or to generate a plan. Doing so will miss out on one of the greatest opportunities,
to create a “culture of prepa redness”. This culture would be one in which all a ctivities
take place with an awareness of and appre ciation for the threat posed by natura l
disasters and conflict. Building construction would take place according to seismic
standards. Schools would focus upon training children how to respond to a disaster, and
international organisations would link governance with municipality-level preparedness
planning and heath-relate d interventions with triage and post-disaste r response. In the
development community, the aim is to mainstream emergency preparedness or to make
it a cross-cutting issue among NGOs, among public institutions and among individuals.
Creating such a culture must begin by raising awareness of the threat pose d by disasters
such as earthquakes and by convincing people tha t simple s teps can be taken to be tte r
prote ct one’s community and family.

F IGURE 21. Progression towards a Culture of Pre paredness

Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5

Public Outcry Rhetoric Logic Awareness Culture of

At present, Lebanon is far from achieving a “culture of prepare dness”. Public outcry
concerning the need for preparedness activities was achieved following the July War and
the Februa ry 2008 earthquake in Srifa, and rhetoric regarding the need for bold and swift
action followed predictably. The numerous “delegations” describe d by key stakeholders
are the bes t incarnation of this rhe toric. Only now has the s ituation begun to move
towards logic, with e xperts being engaged to consider the needs and the most effective
manner in which to address them given the contextual limita tions posed by Lebanon. The
initia l inte rventions which will emerge from the logic phase will help to build aware ness
and foster relevant policy steps. In many ways, the National Disaster Management
Committee established within the LAF reflects a logical ste p, though it has failed to move
beyond this phase given the low technical capacity and legislative authority of this
promis ing institution. Only once widespread awareness has been raised can a “culture of
preparedness” take root.

C2.3 Awareness Raising

As previously noted, less than one-third of the population in southe rn Lebanon pe rceives
a genuine and pers onal safety risk from earthquakes, despite broader unde rstanding tha t
such disasters do pose some degree of threat. Engaging communities in EPP activities will
require greater levels of awareness. While the re are multiple options for rais ing
awareness, a composite approach may be the m ost effective.

First, religious and community leade rs mus t be engaged. Highly respected individuals a re
consistently the m ost effective conduits for informa tion, and they must be “brought on
boards” so to speak by convincing them of the importance of the topic, by providing
them with training and, in some ways, by validating their importance through a
dedicated role in EPP activities. While surveys did not measure the effectiveness of
religious leade rs as disseminators of information, 39.7 per cent of individuals indicate d
that municipal officials are their primary source of informa tion regarding developments
within the community, thus making them the most common source of information. In

fact, the Phase One survey showed that 95.6 per cent of respondents had re lied upon
municipalities as the ir prima ry source of information regarding housing compensation.

Second, public institutions such as schools and medical centres must assist in
disseminating information. Schools are particularly useful at disseminating information
to children and for engaging with parents. Though children may not have a great deal of
agency, they are able to communicate information to their families and will keep the
information with them throughout the ir lives. School projects which re quire children to
assess parts of the ir houses – such as unsecured shelves or columns – which a re
particularly dangerous in the event of an earthquake are particula rly useful. Medica l
centres, given that they are associated with hea lth and wellbe ing, are logical sources of
information regarding health threats. Furtherm ore, their involvement may impel doctors
and nurses to review their own level of prepa redness in terms of infrastructure,
organisation and ma terials.

Third, the media should be used se lectively. The radio, which serves as the primary
information source for only 2.7 per cent of survey responde nts, should not be used, and
television a dvertisements, which are costly and serve as a prima ry information source for
only 7.5 per cent of people in the South, should be utilised only when time is of the
essence. Far more effective as well as cost-effective are television news outlets. TV news
served as the primary information source for 21.2 per cent of survey responde nts. Unlike
paid advertisements, information within the news is greeted with far more cre dibility.
Furtherm ore, the te levision news is a primary source of informa tion for the socio-
economically most vulnerable, who were significantly less likely to receive information
from human sources such as municipal officials or f riends and family.

F IGURE 22. Source of Information with regard to the Level of Vulne rability

Two other groups deserve specific refe rence regarding awareness raising. Female-
headed households (FHHs), as reflected in the above graph, and individuals living in
tempora ry housing – either re nted accommoda tion or with friends and family – are more
likely than the total population to receive information from friends and family. These
findings are rathe r unsurprising but remain useful. A strong emphasis can be placed,
during public information events and local governme nt meetings, upon sharing
information with others. Indeed, given that municipal officials a re highly effective at

disseminating information, it may be worth es tablishing a formal system whe reby
particular individuals, such as “precinct”/ne ighbourhood captains, provide information to
those who we re not able to a ttend the mee tings.

Finally, a differe nt form of awareness raising m ust be im plemente d among the GoLR, the
international community and NSEs. This study and report is intended to pursue this end,
though the authors have also found, through meetings with high-ranking officia ls and
first-hand observation, that the media is a critical means of applying political press ure.
This report, thus, should not only be disseminated, but its findings and recommendations
should be followed up through the me dia in orde r to ensure tha t these promising ideas
result in tangible policies and fina ncial allocations.

C2.4 Municipal Emergency Preparedness Planning

No plan will be the same for differe nt contexts. The command structure, the process of
communication and how to keep the docume nt “a live” with up-to-date da ta can be
different and should be context specific to refle ct the needs and characte ristics of the
country and communities within it.

The objectives of prepa redness include the following:

 To get the maximum benefit out of relief;

 To efficie ntly and effectively connect between the re lief and reconstruction phases;
 To ensure that the relief aid will be able to target the m ost vulne rable;
 To reduce present and future vulnerability to disasters;
 To enable community actors to make decisions in a disaste r scena rio;
 To establish mechanisms for an effective local response; and
 To create a n organised res ponse with limited duplication of action and roles.

The idea behind municipal-level preparedness planning is to give responsibility to

members of the community, in turn, to improve the efficiency and coordination of the
response. As an idea, it has been successfully utilised throughout the world.

Case Study: Nepal

The Nepal Red Cross Society placed an emphasis on developing the community l evel preparedness
and, till 2002, had targeted 141 communities. The programme utilised a combination of leaflets,
manuals and training sessions designed to increase the communities’ confidence in their own
capacity. The training has concentrat ed on first aid, basic rescue operations and tools, such as,
hazard analysis, vulnerability and capacity mapping, and contingency planning. Volunteers from
the Red Cross then worked with the communities in mapping their hazards, in addition to
facilitating the formation of a community disaster committee composed of the willing and eager.
The programme also targeted ‘households’, which helped to enable great er involvement of
women. A revolving fund managed by a community disaster committee was established to make
compensatory payments to households, with villagers encouraged to contribute on a monthly
basis. The fund successfully helped the community to take control of their own preparedness.

IFRC (2002) World Disasters Report (Lond on, Eurspan) p. 26.
Ibid, p. 27.

Creating the Plan

In many respects, the creation of an emergency prepare dness plan is as important as

what it entails. The process itself is the best opportunity for dissemination and for
promoting the plan’s “owne rship” among the comm unity. Given Lebanon’s political and
sectarian diversity, ensuring a highly pa rticipatory approach is pa rticularly important. The
involvement of women, the elderly, the disabled and socio-economically disadvantaged
groups is critical given that such groups may require spe cific protections prior to, during
and after an emergency. Such individuals may either be include d into an Eme rgency
Preparedness Comm ittee (E PC) with ultimate authority for re lated issues. Alternatively,
and potentially more feasible in the Lebanese context, municipal officials should
maintain respons ibility for pre paredness while being advised by a highly re presentative
group of community members who will provide guidance, gather input from the loca l
population, assist in dissemination and provide support to municipal officials in order to
ensure that they do not become overwhelme d by the planning process.

That said, the need for a participatory approach s hould not overwhe lm the nee d for a n
informe d and technically appropriate one. As such, the process should be unde rtaken
with the supervision and facilitation, though not dire ction, of te chnical experts from
either inte rnational organisations or, potentia lly, from the Unions of Municipalities. The
first option is m ore likely during the first round of planning processes while the second
could be adopte d following two to five years of capacity building among the Unions,
which, at present, lack the technical expertise and sufficient numbe rs of s taff.

C2.5 Content of the Pla n

The main purpose of the emergency prepa redness plan is to formalise the emergency
response into a working document that can be continually upda ted. While its forma l
compone nts are ide ntified in the table be low, it is critical to recognise that the plan is a
political as well as technical document. 70 It must be prefaced by a statement of support,
signed by relevant governmental a nd non-state actors in the area, which indicates tha t
emergency prepa redness is a politically neutral process and that they will take no actions
to impe de the implementation of the plan in the event of a disaster.

 Legislative framework
Context  Institutional context
 Physical context (location, accessibility)
Scenarios  Vulnerability

Alexander, 2002: 96-7

 Emergency command
Management  Warning systems
 Evacuation procedures
 Search and rescue
 Medical care
Emergency Needs  Public safety
 Public Information
 Food and shelter
 Damage prevention and limitation
Available Resources
 Buildings and Facilities
 Application of resources to particular disaster
Resource Utilisation  Dissemination of plan
 Testing, revising and use of plan

Additional information regarding each com ponent of the emergency prepare dness pla n
is provided in the following sub-sections.


This portion of the plan should outline the legal and institutional frameworks relevant to
emergency preparedness and response. In particular it should clarify the responsibilities
which belong to the municipalities as opposed to the LAF and Civil Defence. Given tha t
the GoLR is in the process of conside ring emergency pre paredness at the national level,
such a section is likely to be relatively meagre at the outset.

This portion should also cla rify the relationship between the municipalities/communities
and various ins titutions. In the Lebanese context doing so means, most notably, gaining
the agreement of alte rnative powe r bases, particula rly non-s tate entities, to permit the
implementa tion of the emergency preparedness process and to allow it to proceed free
from political bias. It mus t also agree not to undertake any actions which would
jeopardize the neutrality of eme rgency pre paredness and res ponse.

Finally, the plan should indicate the physical conte xt of the community, indicating its
location, its population and its accessibility. A map is a critical component of this section.

Scenarios/Risk Assessment

It is important to include the hazards’ occurrence, predictability and controllability. These

should include only plausible emergencies and should include varying locations and
magnitudes of crises. It is useful to identify the likelihood and pote ntial impact of various
emergencies (Fig. 23).

F IGURE 23. Perceptions of Ea rthquake Threat and Damage

A risk assessment does not solely, however, examine the sta tistical likelihood of a
particular disaste r but also how this “natural” hazard interacts with aspects of huma n
vulnerability (Fig. 24). For instance, a natural hazard such as an earthquake may be of a
particular magnitude on the Richter scale and occur at inte rvals of several months or
several years. However, if it affected a sparsely populate d area with highly resistant
buildings, excelle nt me dical facilities, ample cash rese rves and readily available mate rials,
equipment and expertise for re construction, little disruption would occur. Indeed, under
such idea l circums tances, the hazard may no longe r be logically classified a disaste r. Most
situations, however, are far from ideal and encapsulate various forms of huma n
vulnerability which dete rmine or strongly influe nce the disastrous outcomes of a
particular hazard.

F IGURE 24. Anatomy of a Disaster

Risk of Disaster

Human Vulnerability Natural Hazards

Expo sure Resistan ce Res ilience Magnitu de Duration

Proximity Surroundings Mitiga tion Preparedness

Livelihood Healt h


Identifying the appropriate management structure, including the control of warning

systems and comm unication equipment, is the ne xt critical step. W ithin an emergency, it
is critical to identify clea r leade rship to coordinate the situation, to avoid in-fighting
among community members and to manage exte rnal communications. However, the
need for unita ry management must be joine d by redundancy, by a clear success should
the principle emergency response coordinator be unavailable for any reason (i.e., having
been injured or killed during the emergency, being temporarily away from the
community). The crite ria for s uccession, for passing the eme rgency response coordinator
duties to one of the two or three back-up, must be clearly established within the plan.

One of the coordinator’s primary responsibilities is to warn community members, where

possible, of impending disaste rs. While neithe r conflicts nor earthquakes have effective
predictive crite ria, particularly within a re latively short time frame, a warning system may
still prove useful. Large numbers of tremors may, such as occurre d before the 15
February 2008 earthquake, may be cause for warning. Community members could be
warned to avoid remaining inside buildings unless necessary, and schools could shift
classes out of doors for several days. Ideally a warning system for earthquakes would be
developed at the national level and provide warnings to the coordinator in each
community, though such an occurrence does not seem likely in the short term. Early
warning systems may utilise phone trees, though such an approach is not reliable and
may exclude the most vulnerable membe rs of the community. Rathe r, a low-tech system
such as a warning siren should be utilised.

Following a disaster, the coordinator will also be cha rged with announcing an evacuation.
Where possible, a single evacuation route should be used, though comm unities which
are relatively dispe rsed may require more. This route should be clearly marked and free
from obstruction. Unlike in the case of a flood, in which the evacuation is necessary to
remove people from a dangerous conte xt, a post-earthquake evacuation would allow for
quickly assessing the following crite ria: (i) injuries and fatalities, (ii) the number of
persons m issing and (iii) the availability of food, potable wate r and other key supplies.
The evacuation site should be nea r to the village, thus making it accessible to all
members of the community, should be clearly marked (both on the ground and from the
air), and should include a highly durable structure which houses an HF or VHF radio, first
aid equipment, fire e xtinguishe rs, tents, and small s upplies of food and potable wa ter.
Mass stockpiling is likely unne cessary and, particula rly in the case of medicines, proves
costly and difficult to maintain. Given the difficulty that certain segments of the
community such as the elde rly, the disabled and wome n with young children may face in
reaching evacuation points, the plan should identify a system of partne rships betwee n
households so that individuals support and check upon one another in an organise d

Of these items, the radio is the most important item. The aim is “to develop context-
dependent, low cost, flexible systems in these areas, as opposed to directly adopting

highly sophisticated systems that do not ne cessarily satisfy…requirements ”. 71 Mobile
phone networks are commonly scrambled during external attacks or, in the event of any
crisis, are quickly overwhelme d. While the authors believe the re may be potential for
working with mobile phone companies to establish specialised se rvices during crises,
radio communication will prove the most effective. The community-level coordinator
must use this equipment, on a pre -dete rmined fre quency, to re port to the eme rgency
response centre within the Union of Municipalities.

Emergency Needs

While emergencies result in nume rous needs, these a re difficult to address. Basic first aid
and fire suppression can be impleme nted by communities. However, search and rescue
activities, particularly following earthquakes, often result in buildings collapsing furthe r
and killing those trapped ins ide. Many needs may, thus, need to be addressed by
professionals within the Civil Defe nce or othe r public agencies rather than inde pendently
by community members.

Available Resources

The resources available for responding to an emergency s hould be ide ntified and
included within the plan. These supplies should primarily include non-consumable
supplies such as vehicles, road-clearing equipment, temporary shelters (i.e., tents) and
communication and fire suppression equipment. Critically it should als o outline huma n
resources available and expe rtise re lated to me dical care, enginee ring a nd other re levant

Resource Utilisation

The plan m ust be utilised in the best possible manne r. It must be widely disseminate d
throughout the community, and it must be rehearsed on a regular basis. Quarterly or
semi-annual drills and exercises should be re hearsed in coordina tion with the Unions of
Municipalities. Based upon the outcomes of these exe rcises, the Union-level and
community-level pre paredness plans should be modified and s trengthened.

That said, modifying emergency pre paredness plans must be handled ca refully.
International experie nce has shown that, when too easily modified, plans te nd to grow
unrealis tic and lose their meaning. The process for making revisions, which should be
highly participatory, should be indicated in the plan. Any revisions should be recorde d
within the plan. Once revisions a re made, updated copies of the plan must be
disseminated to all relevant stakeholders.

Dissemination, it must be note d, should be conside red during the drafting of the plan. If
overly technical or e xceptionally lengthy, the e ntirety of the local population will be
unlikely to unde rstand it. If it is too short, critical de tails will likely be lost. To avoid such
problems, those engaged in drafting emergency preparedness plans should create a

Aleskerov, F., Toker, A., Say, A., Akin, H. and Atlay, G. (2005) ‘A Cluster-based decision support system for
estimating earthquake damage and casualties’, Disasters, 29 (3), p. 256.

comprehe nsive document but be prepared to produce a summary document which
includes all critical data. Furthermore, a series of trainings should be organised,
potentially facilitated by the EPC, in order to ensure that that entire comm unity is aware
of the plan and the ir responsibilities before, during and after an emergency.

C2.6 Safe Havens

While preparedness planning has the potential to improve responses to natural disasters,
it is less effective in response to e xternal aggression. In such instances, evacuation is only
effective when the re is an area unaffected by the hazard. Doing so requires the creation
of “safe havens”, areas which are prote cted from a ttack and which all arme d elements
agree to res pect and leave unha rmed. While the politica l feasibility of such a proposal,
the authors believe that it would be critical to create a reas which: (a) a rmed forces agree
not to attack under any circumstances, (b) armed, non-s tate elements agree not to use
for the purpose of shelte r or munitions storage and which (c) the GoLR agrees to place
under the protection of the Red Cross. This idea should be further explore d as one of the
only viable routes to preventing substantial civilian fatalities in the unfortuna te event of
furthe r conflict.

That said, the authors do not necessarily support mass evacuations of communities,
whether to safe havens or elsewhere, during times of armed conflict. History has shown
that large population movements during times of warfare or exte rnal aggression,
particularly when Israel is involved, tend to be viewed as threatening and, hence, as
suitable m ilitary targets.

C3. Structural Mitigation

In addition to prepare dness planning, there a re specific a ltera tions that can be
undertaken by home owne rs, builders and structural e ngineers which will reduce the risk
of damage to the home and communities in the event of a disaster. Indeed, simple
measures could reduce the s ocial and economic effects of earthquakes.

C3.1 Purpose of Structural M itigation

Structural mitigation measures are “those that involve or dictate the necessity for s ome
form of cons truction, engineering, or other mechanical changes or im provements aimed
at reducing hazard risk or likelihood or consequence ”. 72 It is based on the prem ise that
the various ramifications caused by earthquakes and othe r disasters can be reduced.
Indeed, as one resident of Zibdine, stated “The house has shaken and I am not sure that
its structure is good as before”. 73 The 2006 War would have caused ‘hidden’
infrastructural damage that invariable has weakened the southe rn homes and

Western countries with a threat of earthquakes have established institutions with the
purpose of producing resea rch based guidelines designed to mitigate earthquake
damage. In particular, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), UN HABITAT
and Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre have produced de tailed reports
to provide communities and homeowners with advice on how to reduce earthquake
damage. In addition, the Inte rmedia te Technology Publica tions have develope d
guidelines for architectural designs to mitigate damage and formulated processes to
enable these changes to be effe ctive in the community. Such institutions’ technical and
practical expertise le nds itself to contexts such as Lebanon. In addition, Japan and Turkey
have established centres with advice for reducing the damage from an earthquake,
based on their experie nces of such crises. Reducing the potential for damage is critica l
and this means utilis ing advice from across the world.

C3.2 Structural M itiga tion Measures

While this section is primarily orie nted towards the structural mitigation of houses, it
must also be re cognised that key public infrastructure must als o rece ive structura l
mitigation measures. The structural integrity and ability to withstand a major disaster of
schools, medical facilities, bridges, tunnels, Army and Civil Defence buildings, places of
worship, community centres and other key pieces of infrastructure mus t be assessed.
Where deficient, im provements must be made. Crowded public buildings, if weak, may

Coppola, D. (2007) Introdu ction to International Disaster Management (China, Elsevier Inc.) p. 179.
Personal commu nication, Zibdine, Lebanon, 27 Oct. 2008.

collapse during disaste rs and result in a large loss of life. Having inta ct buildings is als o
critical for providing shelter in the afte rmath of disasters. Despite this section’s and this
report’s focus upon housing, the authors fully hope that the same level of atte ntion is
paid to public infrastructure.

There are specific principles that ca n be applied to s tructural mitigation at the household
level. These principles, which primarily relate to earthquakes but are also applicable to
certain aspects of conflict, include the following:

 Robust building form;

 Firm foundations;
 Good quality materials;
 Strong walls;
 Distribute d ope nings;
 Horiz ontal reinforcement;
 Safe modifications; and
 Regular maintenance. 74

Each of these principles is addresse d in turn be low.

Robust Building Form

The frame of a building is critical; it has to withstand the twis ting, vertical and horizonta l
forces acting on it, therefore, certain styles of houses are m ore at risk. In particular,
those buildings that have an irregular overall s hape, to include, an irregular L-s haped or
T-shaped plans, openings in the exte rnal walls concentrate d on either one side or two
adjacent s ides of the buildings, large windows, second floor overhangs, porches and
irregula r walls are m ore vulne rable to earthquake damage.75 Indeed, those
unsymmetrical building s tructures are less likely to withs tand the com bine d twis ting,
vertical and horizontal forces that act upon them during an earthquake. For example,
where a room has been built on top of a garage the house is often made weaker. It adds
weight to the garage walls making them often too weak to withstand vibra tions from an
earthquake if they are left not reinforced. 76

Moreover, walls which provide support to other walls through interconne cting points
occurring at regular intervals along their length will be stronger. By ensuring that the
walls are: atta ched at regular intervals to e ithe r a cross wall or, supporte d by piers or,
buttress or cranked in plan and designed as short and thick to make the house shape
compact should improve the building’s structure, enabling it to bette r withs tand an
earthquake. 77 Ideally, the house should be a rectangular shape, where the T-shaped and

Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles of Building Safety, Intermediate Technology Publications (SRP,
Exeter) p. 29.
Ibid. p. 30; FEMA (20 05) ‘Earthquake Safety Guide for H ome Owners’, September (America, FEMA)
Publication 530, p. 24.
FEMA (2005) ‘Earthquake Safety Guide for Home Owners’, September (America, FEMA) Publication 530, p.
The strength of an earthquake varies and, therefore, while mitigation measures will improve the strength of a
building certain earthquakes, due to their power and scale of force s, will cause severe damage. This is why it is
essential to couple any structural mitigation measures with an EPP plan. This will engender a community
capacity to effectively and efficiently manage a ‘crisis’.

L-shaped plans a re divide d into separate s tructurally impe ndent pieces. In addition, the
window openings should be minimized and, on the opposite walls, the re should be a
similar window, a gap of at least 75 mm should exis t be tween houses and the ground
floor plan should be duplicated for the stories above. The combination of these spe cific
structural designs will furthe r reduce the pote ntial for damage to a building from a n
earthquake. 78

Firm Foundations

Strong foundations will anchor the building, which will increase its stability, in turn,
reduce the risk that the building will dramatically move from its origina l location during
an earthquake. In reality, this physical movement would cause further internal and
external damage while present additional risk to the occupants. For example, floods and
fires could result – the movement of the building could rupture gas and water pipes,
subsequently, leading to gas and wate r leakages.79

In addition, the structure of the foundation and its composition should take into
conside ration the type of soil the building is laid on as the vibrations of the earthquake
will cause diffe ring ground motion through diffe rent types of unde rlying soil. For
example, if the construction is on firm soil, continuous strip footings should be used, but
if on soft soil then the foundations should be reinforce d. 80 However, stone, concrete
brick, or brick foundations a re harder to re inforce. For these foundations, reinforce d
concre te could be poured, with minimum ceme nt content ten per ce nt by weight of the

The foundations should be built with regards to the particular weather of tha t region – if
the ground is subject to frost then the founda tion should s tart below freez ing level of the
soil and if the region is subject to flooding then the founda tions and subsoil should be
built with durable materia ls to limit ground water caused deteriora tion. 82

Strong Walls

The walls in the house can collapse during an earthquake and cause damage to the
interior and occupants; however, if the main supporting walls of the house collapse the n
this can lead to furthe r damage. Indeed, damage to a building’s walls result from the
masonry materia ls used and the quality of the mortar providing the adhesive betwee n
the masonry units. For example, single leaf masonry – where the walls a re built by one
masonry unit by one masonry unit – they should be thick and bonded well. The othe r
method for building masonry walls would be by masonry units in two parallel widths
bonded togethe r. Furthe rmore, where two walls are joined together the re needs to be

Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles of Building Safety, Intermediate Technology Publications (SRP,
Exeter) p. 30.
FEMA (2005) ‘Earthquake Safety Guide for Home Owners’, September (America, FEMA) Publication 530, p.
Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles of Building Safety, p.31.
FEMA (2005) ‘Earthquake Safety Guide for Home Owners’, p. 11; Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles
of Building Safety, p.31.
Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles of Building Safety, p.31.

good bonding in order to share effectively the load of the building and the forces acting
upon the walls during an earthquake. 83

There are different methods that can be utilised to s trengthen the walls, to include,
masonry with ring beam, confined masonry and reinforced masonry. Firstly, a ring beam
is a horizontal re inforcement at the top of the walls or the floor levels or at intermediary
levels. The purpose of this beam is to increase the late ral resis tance of the walls.
Secondly, confine d masonry has additional vertica l supports in key areas, such as,
strengthe ning the sides of openings and corne rs with bars or wire mesh in the horizonta l
mortar joints. This will increase the strength of those walls. Finally, the reinforce d
masonry will have vertica l and horizontal re inforcements throughout the wa ll. 84 In
addition, a steel framework could be installe d by bolting this to the outside walls to
furthe r strengthe n the walls. 85 For southern Lebanon cos t and the availability of skilled
laboure rs are areas for conce rn, however, it is recommended that at least a ring beam is
built into the southern Leba nese buildings and that the walls in newly constructe d
buildings are built simultaneously and in stages of 1m height to enable bette r inte r-wall
connection. 86

Distributed Openings

Openings are a necessary feature of m ost buildings, however, where they a re pla ced and
the sizes of them, with regards to the length of the wall they are in, affect how much
they weaken the overall building’s structure. Specific guidelines for openings include:
ensuring that the openings are the smallest poss ible size, placing them away from
corne rs and with adequa te distance betwee n two and providing a reinforced lintel with
any opening, or a plastic film benea th. In addition, for two or m ore storey buildings the
openings should be all above those on the ground floor. 87

Horizontal Reinforcement

It is critical tha t the com ponents to a building’s structure are suitably interconnected to
ensure that it is one unit. Indeed, the ring beam has bee n proven to be critical, if securely
fastened to the walls, to he lp anchor the tops of the walls, protect them from cracking
and providing the channels for lateral forces to be transm itted across into a ll the
available walls through the floor or roof. 88 In addition, the ring beam should be further
reinforced at the corners. This re inforcement should consis t of at least two 10mm
diameter steel bars with proximity to the face of each wall.89 Plywood panels could, also,
be bolted to the wall studs or, diagonal woode n sheathing could be built in, as illus trate d
in Figure 25. For this method of reinforcement, thick plywood and large nails should be

Ibid. p.34
Ibid, p.34
FEMA (2005) ‘Earthquake Safety Guide for Home Owners’, p. 11; Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles
of Building Safety, p.18.
Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles of Building Safety, p.35.
FEMA (2005) ‘Earthquake Safety Guide for Home Owners’, p. 11; Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles
of Building Safety, p.35.
Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles of Building Safety, p.36.
Ibid. p. 36.

used and there needs to be a limite d amount of space between the nails, while ensuring
that the vents are uncovered. 90

F IGURE 25. How to Secure Walls

Safe Modifications

Changing the structure of a building creates an opportunity to increase the late ral and
vertical resistance to earthquake forces. However, keeping the house in symmetry is
essential. Clea rly, the re are obvious modifications to a building, to include, filling in
visible cracks in the walls, adding in additional reinforceme nt according to the
aforementioned guide lines, streng thening floors by the additional of an extra layer of
concre te of floor boards, improving the distribution and size of openings and
strengthe ning foundations with refe rence to the s oil type and water prevalence.
However, these should be done by the re levant expert construction or engineering body
with appropria te materials and tools. 92

Regular Maintenance

The recent re construction of Lebanese homes makes some beneficiaries anxious. One
interviewee explained that “It is worse beca use it has been shaken and full of cracks, and

Ibid. p.9-11.
FEMA (2005) ‘Earthquake Safety Guide for Home Owners’, p. 22.
Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles of Building Safety, p.24.

I am not s ure that the quality of the building ma terials is 100 pe r ce nt good, from my
experie nce it looks good, but who knows”. 93 Indeed, this emphasises the im portance of
regular mainte nance to ens ure tha t the buildings don’t unknowingly deteriorate. In
particular, eros ion ca used from plant growth, winds or, vibrations can weaken the
outside masonry and foundations and corros ion of metal work used to re inforce the
building can occur, rot or fungal growth on the roof or floor timbe rs. Regular inspections
of buildings would keep in che ck these dete riorations and enable re pairs, if money and
labour were available. 94

C3.3 Interior Mitigation

If the home ware is s ufficie ntly anchored it can g reatly reduce the risk of injury and
prope rty damage. As such, all potentially hazardous items should be ca refully anchore d
to avoid damage to prope rty and people.

Water heate rs and gas cylinders should be strapped to a wall stud and faste ned to the
floor. Indeed, metal tubing or heavy metal strapping and lag screws and washe rs should
be used to secure the hea ter or cylinder to wall studs. Figure 26 below de picts how the
fastening of a gas cylinder, to provide one exam ple, should be done.

F IGURE 26. How to Secure a Gas Cylinde r

The heavy hanging items – pictures and mirrors – should not be placed above whe re
people sit or lie, in case the force of vibrations from an earthquake caused them to fall.
When these items fall they may shatter and spread dangerous shards on the floor.
Indeed, during an earthquake the large items of furniture, such as, book cases and
wardrobes can topple and cause ha rm to individuals. Fallen furniture can block the exit
routes. It is, therefore, critical tha t heavy items of furniture are anchored to protect the

Personal commu nication, Tyre, Lebanon, 14 Oct. 2008.
Coburn, A. et. al. (1995) Technical Principles of Building Safety, p.39;
FEMA (2008) ‘Quantifi cation of Building Seismic Performan ce Factors’, April (America, Applied Tech nological
Council) 63 Proje ct Report, p. 136.

individua ls but, also, the contents of the furniture. This can be done by tethering, or
strapping them to the wall studs of an adjacent wall. For e xample, the back of the unit
can be bolted to the wall stud or a steel angle bracket can be used. However, a toggle
bolt or nail will pull out during the ea rthquake. 96

Shelves should be secured to the walls to reduce the risk of them collapsing as a result of
the vibra tions create d from the earthquake. Breakable objects – foods, glass, and
glassware – should be stored in low, closed cabinets with latches, while potentially
poisonous subs tances such as pes ticides, and flammable objectives should be s tore d
securely in closed cabine ts with latches and on bottom shelves. Kitchen drawers would
be particula rly dangerous if not securely closed as their contents can include knives.
Diagram 4 provides examples of how to securely anchor certain home wa re. A brace
should also be fixed over light fixtures to prevent them from smashing and caus ing
damage. Heavier items should be secured to more stable furniture units (see Figs. 27 and

F IGURE 27. Securing Home Ware

US Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (2001) ‘Hazard Identifi cation and Mitigation’,
August. Available at: &ws=0&q m=0&st=1&nh=10&lk=1&rf= 0&oq=
&col=eren&qt=earthquake+mitigation, accessed on 20th October, 2008.

FEMA (2006) ‘Homebuilders’ Guide to Earthquake Resistant Design and Construction’, June (Washington D.C.,
National Institute of Building Sciences) Publication 232, pp.150.

F IGURE 28. How to Secure Televisions or Com pute rs

Finally, it is important to emphasise that re pairs on defective electrical wiring and leaky
gas connections should be done, as should any deep cracks in ce ilings or foundations.

Measures can be taken before an earthquake occurs to maxim ize the chance of survival.
It is important that there a re spaces in the rooms in orde r to facilitate a quick exit, hence,
furniture should be positioned around the pe rime ter of the room with no pie ces
occupying the central spaces or exit routes. 99 Most reports suggest that it is critical
everyone in the house knows what to do in the event of an earthquake. This includes
knowing where the gas and water valves are in a house and being aware of the detaile d
steps that can be taken to reduce earthquake vulnerability.

C3.4 Interior Reinforcement

In addition to ensuring that one is protecte d from falling objects, structural mitigation
must also ens ure that a house or building’s occupants have some degree of protection
from structura l collapse as a result of conflict (keeping in m ind that evacuation from a
house or building, where possible, is best in the event of an earthquake). Traditionally,
bunkers or bomb shelters have served this purpose. While they will continue to be built
by organisations and individuals in southern Lebanon, their presence is often a source of
tension between arme d groups a nd m ilita ries. Furtherm ore, their cos t and technica l
requirements make them out of reach for most households.

Yet, interior re inforcements can be used in order to offe r a certain degree of protection
from indirect s trikes (given that little can be done if a home is directly hit by a shell or
missile). Strengthening s paces benea th sta ircases is the most comm on form of interior
reinforcement, thus allowing tha t space to se rve as a make-shift bomb shelte r. In othe r
instances, rooms may be specifically adapted to offer protection. Qualifie d enginee rs

Ibid. p. 147.
Navarro, M. (1997) Earthquake Precautionary measures in post-disaster housing, with reference to Mexico
City, Mexico, PhD (Quebec, National Library of Canada) p. 58.

should be consulte d in order to de term ine wha t such improvements would be mos t
feasible and cost-effective given the prevailing home designs in Lebanon.

C3.5 Challenges

There is a gap in disaster management practices, with few agencies and governments
taking on the responsibility for dissemina ting informa tion to families on what they can do
in their homes. 100 In part, this stems from a historic gap be tween those that seek to
develop communities and those that create the housing plans. In turn, the separation of
construction groups and development groups has led to diffe ring working concepts and
terminology, which widens the gap in thinking between them. Development agencies
focus on issues of security – political, socia l and economic – whe reas urban planne rs
focus more on mitigation and prepare dness methods. 101 What there needs to be is a
greater mainstreaming of disaster m itigation in all a reas – development and physica l
reconstruction. Not only does this nee d to occur on an NGO level, but also, at a
governmental and municipa lity level to ensure greate r diffus ion of, in this case, basic
mitigation measures. 102

Linking Structural M itigation and Development

Numerous options exis t for fully linking development and s tructural mitigation
interventions. The most promising, however, are those which aim to overcome the
financial burde n of construction works. Providing livelihood assistance to those
households mos t damaged during the July War would he lp to resolve the
aforementioned detrimental economic impact of housing damage (and of the
compensation process) while providing income for structural mitigation. Alternatively,
revolving micro-cre dit funds within comm unities, managed by emergency preparedness
council or othe r trusted bodies, have been effective in generating income to financing
structural m itigation among public infrastructure and the homes of the mos t vulnerable
(i.e., the chronically poor and FHHs).

The best way to make sure that a building withstands an earthquake is to ens ure that it is
designed appropriate ly from the start. In order for this to occur, there needs to be
increased awareness at all levels, from the individual to the national level. This is perhaps
the most cost-effective option. 103 However, cultural understanding nee ds to be
incorporated into designs. Indee d, this can effectively be achieved if the community is
involved in the planning process. The dialogue with the community should, ideally, focus
upon the following issues:

 Defining the Problem – W hat the concerns of the community are and wha t the
structural conce rns from a technical viewpoint with refere nce to the threat of
earthquakes and quality of the housing?

Bosher, L., Carrillo, P., Dainty, A., Glass, J. and Price, A. (2007) ‘Realising a resilient and sustainable built
environment: towards a strategic agenda for the UK’, Disasters, 31 (3), pp. 236 – 255.
Wamsler, C. (2006) ‘Mainstreaming risk reduction in urban planning and housing: a challenge for
international aid organisations’, Disasters, 30 (2), pp. 154-5.
Ibid. p. 165.
Coppola, D. (2007) Introdu ction to International Disaster Management (China, Elsevier Inc.) p. 179.

 Assessing the Technical Appropriateness – Are the structural m itigations te chnically
feasible, in terms of the builders available, the materials prevalent, the fisca l
constraints and the balance between the designs innovativeness versus the
community’s traditions? Do they conform to applicable building codes and

 Understanding the Cultural Dimensions – Are the technical re commenda tions in

keeping with the local values and resources and are the s tructural recommendations
with refere nce to the threat posed by the hazard?

 Appreciating the Existing Practices – What is the comm unity’s knowledge of the
threat posed by earthquakes? What the people’s housing aspirations? How do they
prioritise spending?

 Analysing Constraints – Why might the community not want to participate in the
proje cts for structural mitigation?

 Evaluating Sources of Authority – Where and to whom do pe ople go for hous ing
problems? Who is involved in construction, and what is their level of e xpertise? How
are sources of information best disseminated in the comm unity? 104

A problem in impleme nting structural m itigation at a house hold level is how to

encourage the homeowner to follow the structural mitigation guidelines. Often whe n
there has not been a re cent disaste r or, the re have been predicted disasters but none
have occurred, people become dis inclined to invest in structural mitigation. As noted,
“mitigation measures tend to be costly, dis ruptive, time consuming, and in some cases
unpalatable”. 105 As such, concerte d effort must be made to demons trate the potentia lly
life-saving benefits of structural mitigation and the economic wisdom of making small,
short-term investments in e xchange for significant, long-te rm benefits and protection.

Once community membe rs have accepted and developed the s tructural mitigations, with
the technical experts in line with their cultural needs and local resources, the capacity of
the community to implement these structural mitigations, to ensure, that regula r
maintenance is achieved, there mus t be a subsequent focus on human res ources and
local ins titutions. Project’s such as ILO’s, which is providing capacity building to ammar,
should be developed and expa nded. However, the re are differe nt methods of
implementing such schemes.

C3.6 Implementation

There are a range of implementation models, which engage, to different extents, the
community. Indeed, which impleme ntation m odel is chosen for s outhe rn Lebanon will be
guided by the initial assessment of nee ds, capacities and resources. It mus t, furtherm ore,
be rooted in legal requirements, land-use planning regulations and building byelaws.

The “contractor model” uses construction companies outside of the target area that have
existing technical expertise, staff resources, the necessary equipme nt and masonry units

Dudley, E and Haaland, A. (1993) Communicating Building for Safety (Intermediary Technology Publications,
London ) pp.6 -7.
Coppola, D. (2007) Introdu ction to International Disaster Management (China, Elsevier Inc.) p. 175.

to facilitate a quick and e ffective construction. Clearly, this approach would be
particularly effective where the community has limited capacity to de liver the structura l
changes, though it impe des local ownership and defle cts responsibility for emergency
preparedness and s tructural mitigation away from m unicipalities and households. 106

The othe r mains tream implementation mode l is the se lf-build approach. The focus of this
approach is to e ngender a comm unity capacity that enables them to unde rtake the
building work themselves. This approach is possible whe re the structural mitigation
measures are simple and there is an available labour resource. Indeed, the focus of this
approach could be on empowe ring families or, empowe ring many communities through
a joint-re construction programme. Furtherm ore, it can be “a useful way of restoring a
sense of pride and we ll-being in people who have been through a trauma”. 107 Most
importantly, it ensures that regula r maintenance of the buildings can be achieved in the
long-term and at a modest expense. In addition, by entre nching a common construction
goal – to stre ngthen the community against a n earthquake or human-made threat – it
can help to re-es tablish s ocial ne tworks and social cohesion by requiring that people
within the community work together for an effective and efficient solution. 108

Barakat, S. (2003) ‘Housing Re construction a fter con flict and disaster’, Humanitarian Policy Network, 43, p.
Ibid. p. 33
Ibid. p. 37.

D1. Conclusion & Pilot Proposal
& Pilot Proposal

This re port has attempted to fill a broad mandate, to describe and assess the hous ing
compensation process in southern Lebanon while providing guidance for future
emergency prepa redness planning and structural mitigation interventions.

Housing Compensation

The conclusions are, broadly, that housing compe nsation allowed many people to re turn
to their homes but, most notably, provided assistance with little regard to actual needs.
A community’s “adoption” by a particula r donor seems to have largely influenced the
amount of money received and the effectiveness with which it was provided. Delays and
corruption, most notably, exacerbate d the economic ramifica tions of the July War. The
lack of attention to structural quality and the limited provision of technical assistance
mean that many individuals may be residing in homes incapable of withstanding the sort
of major earthquake which many experts anticipate.

Emergency Preparedness and Structural Mitigation

Emergency preparedness planning and structura l mitigation are, thus, necessary in order
to safeguard the investment made in the hous ing sector and to prevent the devastating
loss of life which would, at present, result from another ma jor natural or human-ma de
disaster. Southern Lebanon faces particular challe nges for prepa redness activities. A
fragmented context of inte rventions and governance, with com petition betwee n public
agencies and betwee n non-state entities and public agencies rife, makes a top-down
approach unappealing. Unfortunate ly most efforts by the interna tional community, in
particular, have focused upon hiera rchal methods aiming to create national plans. Donor
support must be mobilise d at a highly decentralised level, the municipalities. Municipa l
emergency preparedness planning (EPP) should commence as soon as possible and
reflect the recomme ndations included within section C2 of this re port.

Structural mitigation, while necessita ting a subs tantial financial investment, is equally if
not more critical. Houses and public buildings must be assessed, and structura l
weaknesses must be resolved immediately. While local ownership and capacity should
be prom oted, and while individuals should be expe cted to contribute to structura l
mitigation with financing and labour, interna tional engagement may be necessary. The
hithe rto involvement of donors from the MENA region has been encouraging, and they
provide the most logical partners for these activities. Emergency response centres mus t
be crea ted and are being planned by a nd with support from the Kuwait Fund; schools
and medical facilities must be bolste red against an earthquake or indirect attack, and
homes must be stabilised.

The failure to do so could be devastating. One only has to think to the events of the past
few years, with massive earthquakes in Pakistan, China and e lsewhere resulting in
massive death tolls, to see the im portance of promoting human organisation and
structural mitigation to save lives and safeguard prope rty.

D1.1 Piloting of EPP a nd S tructural Mitigation

While the idea of emergency prepa redness has grown increasingly popular among key
stakeholders throughout southern Lebanon, most efforts remain focused upon high-
level, frequently national plans. Such stakeholders must be convinced that a more
decentralised approach, at least at the outset, is critical in order to make progress in the
short term. A pilot programme is the m ost effective way in which to build m omentum.

Srifa, given its experience with damage from both conflict and the 15 Februa ry 2008
earthquake, provides a prom ising location for pilot interventions (though the recent
spate of de legations has resulted in many prom ises but few tangible results). Similarly,
Nahr e l Ba red, in the North of Lebanon, which is currently being rebuilt, may allow for
the integ ration of preparedness activities within recons truction interventions.
Furtherm ore, including Nahr el Bare d within a pilot prog ramme will help to draw
attention to the specific and heightened vulne rability of Palestinians in Leba non to both
natural and man-made disasters. That said, non-Palestinian popula tions surrounding
Nahr el Ba red should also be include d in order to avoid increasing tensions and in orde r
to foste r connections be tween the two communities. Conside rable resources should be
mobilise d from the interna tiona l community in both of these locations, Srifa and Nahr el
Bared. The pilot, which should be implemented in several communities and be led by an
international organisation, should include the following inte rventions:

 An assessment of opportunities for and impedime nts to EPP;

 The training of municipal officials on participatory planning methods;
 The organisation, with the involvement of comm unity members, municipal officials
and technical e xpe rts, of risk assessments;
 The drafting and implementation of emergency preparedness plans;
 An assessment of the structural integrity of homes and public buildings and their
resistance to, at least, seismic shocks of greate r than 6.0 on the Richte r scale;
 The training of loca l builde rs on best practices and seismic standards; and
 The strengthe ning of homes and public infrastructure with funds contributed, mos t
likely, by donors from the MENA region and by community members themselves.

Prior to and during the creation of the prepa redness plans, input should be gathere d
from the Union of Municipalities, from the Civil Defence, from the Lebanese Arme d
Forces (LAF), from relevant line ministries, from the National Disaster Management
Committee and from local and interna tiona l non-governme ntal actors, including Jihad al
Bina’a (JaB) and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The capacities and planning
processes of these actors should be integrate d at the comm unity level, and plans for
integrated planning and response should be foste red.

With adequate resources and technical assistance, this pilot programme could become a
model replicate d throughout all parts of Lebanon. International actors, regiona l donors,
municipal officials, non-state entities (NSEs) and representatives of the LAF, High Relie f
Commission (HRC) and Council of the South (CoS) should be shown the benefits of the
EPP and structura l mitigation activities in these model comm unities in order to gain
momentum for the concept. Doing so is critical and will allow all stakeholders to develop
experie nce working together in a smaller context be fore attempting integrate d planning
and ope rations at increasingly high levels.

This pilot will also allow those actors engaged in planning at the national level to
understa nd the re lation of their inte rventions to those at the community level. It will
help contribute to the sort of dual top-down and bottom-up approach which is necessary
to ensure that planning is fully linked up across all levels and varieties of governance.
Most importantly, it will help to ensure that communities a re better protecte d from
natural and human-made disasters and that the present momentum is maintained rathe r
than being converted into yet another cycle of disaster followed by outcry followed by


Aleskerov, F., Toker, A., Say, A., Akin, H. and Atlay, G. (2005) ‘A Cluste r-based de cision
support system for estimating earthquake damage and casualties’, Disasters, 29 (3),
pp. 255-276.

Alexander, D. (2002) Principles of Eme rgency Planning and Management (Oxford, Oxford
University Press).

Allen, K. (2006) ‘Community-based disaster prepa redness and climate adapta tion: local
capacity-building in the Philippines’, Disasters, 30 (1), pp. 81-101.

Applied Technology Council (2007) ‘Prioritize d research for re ducing the seismic hazards
of existing buildings’, December (California) pp. 1-22.

Aysan, Y., Clayton, A., Cory, A., Davis, I. and Sanderstone, D. (1995) Developing Building
for Safety Programmes (Intermediate Technology Publications, London).

Barakat, S. (2003) ‘Housing Reconstruction afte r conflict and disaste r’, Humanitarian
Policy Network, 43, pp.1-40.

Barakat, S. and Davis, I. (1997) ‘Disaster Pre paredness for Palestine’, in A. B. Zahlan (Ed.),
The Reconstruction of Palestine: Issues, Options, Politics, and Strategies (London,
Kegan Paul Inte rnational), 287-303.

Bosher, L., Carrillo, P., Dainty, A., Glass, J. and Price, A. (2007) ‘Realising a resilie nt and
sustainable built e nvironme nt: towards a strategic agenda for the UK’, Disaste rs, 31
(3), pp. 236 – 255.

Bowen, A. (2008) ‘Are we really ready? The need for National Emergency Prepare dness
standards and the creation of the cycle of Emergency Planning’, Politics and Policy, 36
(5), pp. 834-853.

Coburn, A., Hughes, R., Pomonis, A. and Spence, R. (1995) Technical Principles of Building
Safety, Intermediate Technology Publications (SRP, Exete r).

Coppola, D. (2007) Introduction to International Disas ter Management (China, Elsevier).

Cuny, F. (1983) Disaster and Development (Oxford, Oxford University Press).

Disaster Cente r (1999) ‘Earthquake Prepare dness Guide’. Available at:

http://www.disaste rcente, accessed 20 Oct. 2008.

Dudley, E and Haaland, A. (1993) Communicating Building for Safety (London,

Intermediary Technology Publications).

FEMA (2008a) ‘What to do before an Earthquake?’ Available at:, accessed 12 Oct. 2008.

FEMA (2008b) ‘Quantification of Building Seismic Performance Factors’, April (Ame rica,
Applied Technological Council) 63 Project Report, pp. 1-364.

FEMA (2006) ‘Homebuilde rs’ Guide to Ea rthquake Resistant Design and Construction’,
June (Washington D.C., National Institute of Building Sciences) Publication 232, pp.1-

FEMA (2005) ‘Earthquake Safety Guide for Home Owners’, September (Ame rica, FEMA)
Publication 530, pp. 1-42.

Gopalakrishna n, G. and Okada, N. (2007) ‘Designing new institutions for impleme nting
integrated disaste r risk management key elements and future directions’, Disasters,
31 (4), pp. 353-372.

IFRC (2004) World Disasters Report. Available at:, accessed 24 Oct. 2008.

IFRC (2002) World Disas ters Report (London, Eurs pan).

ISDR (2008) ‘Hyogo Framework Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and
Communities to Disasters’, pp. 1-6. Available at:
http://www.unis, accessed 18 Oct.

Kapucu, N. (2008) ‘Collaborative eme rgency management: better community organizing,

better public prepa redness repose’, a publication of the Overseas Development
Institute (Oxford, Blackwell Publishing) pp. 239-262.

Navarro, M. (1997) Earthquake Precautionary measures in post-disaster housing, with

reference to Mexico City, Mexico, PhD (Quebec, Na tional Library of Canada) pp. 1-124.

Troy, D., Carson, A., Vanderbeek, J. and Hutton, A. (2007) ‘Enhancing community-based
disaster prepare dness with information technology’, a publication of the Overseas
Development Institute (Oxford, Blackwell Publishing) pp. 149-165.

US Department of Energy Efficiency and Rene wable Energy (2001) ‘Hazard Identification
and Mitigation’, August. Available at: ren&ws=0&qm=0&st=1
&nh=10&lk=1&rf=0&oq=&col=eren&qt=earthquake+mitigation, accessed on 20 Oct.

Wamsler, C. (2006) ‘Mainstreaming risk reduction in urban planning and housing: a

challenge for international aid organisations’, Disasters, 30 (2), pp. 151-177.

Appendix A. Key Stakeholders Consulted
Key Stakeholders Consulted

The following are those individuals with whom the resea rch team spoke in the
preparation of this report. During large group meetings, it was challenging to record
names and positions for each individual. The authors apologise for any individuals who
were consulte d but are not cited in this section of the re port.

Name Title/Pos ition Affiliation Location

Tarek Osseiran Proje ct Manager UN-HABITAT Tyre

Stephen He rbaly Development USAID Beirut

Programme ROSS, Italian

Rosario Sapienza Tyre
Coordinator Coope ration

Rabih Shibli Director House in the South Tyre

ROSS, Italian
Nahed Msayleb Programme Office r Tyre
Coope ration

Union of Municipa lities

Samih Hallal President Nabatieh
of Nabatieh

Union of Municipa lities

Mortada Mhanna Director Tyre
of Tyre

Office of the United

Mohamad Mukalled Nations Reside nt Beirut

Lillah Fearnley Civil Affairs Officer UNIFIL Tyre

General Yehia Raad Secretary-Genera l High Relief Commission Beirut

Fadia Ayoub Reporting Officer ACTED Nabatieh

Union of Municipa lities
Eng. Hayssam Raad Chief Engineer Tyre
of Tyre

Programme and
Edis Zegorac UNIFIL Tyre
Management Officer

Public Rela tion International Medica l

Dr Zahra Shaitly Tyre
Officer Corps

Dr Mostafa
Mayor City of Nabatie h Nabatieh

Dr Mohammed Resident Kuwait Fund for Arab

Sadeqi Representative Economic Development

Habitat Programme
Dania Rifai UN-HABITAT Beirut

ROSS, Italian
Cristina Caputo Programme Office r Tyre
Coope ration

Senior Civil Affairs

Albagir Adam UNIFIL Tyre

Adnan Aboukhalil Proje ct Coordinator House in the South Tyre

Union of Municipa lities

Abdul-Latif Husseini President Tyre
of Tyre

Eng. Nasser Saad Technical E xpert Khatib and Alami Beirut

Eng. Nasri Abdel Nour Khatib and Alami Beirut

Abaas Ghraveh Director for Tyre Civil Defence Tyre

Khodor Ghazal Leader of Tyre Unit Islamic Rissala Scout Tyre

Director of the Tyre

Dr Salim Deeb Al-Kayan Tyre

Saudi Popular
Sheikh Mohammed - Beirut

Mr Kabalan Kabalan President Council of the South Beirut

Hajj Qassem Director Jihad al Bina’a Beirut

Ms Soha Bou Chabké Country Director ACTED Beirut

South Lebanon
Gov. Hussein Kabalan Governor Tyre

Nationa l Disaste r
Gen. Elias Zourob Director Tyre
Management Committee

Appendix B. Communities Studied
Communities Studied

Kada'a Village/T own/City




Bent Jbeil
Beint Jbeil




Ebl Saki




Marjeyoun Majdal Selim

Meiss el Jabal




Nabatieh Aadshit




Nabatieh Tahta




Zaotar Gharbieh


Saida Marwanieh

Deir Kanoon A naher

Jbeil El Botom








Appendix C. Case Study Qleileh
Case Study Qleileh

Qleileh village is in the district of Tyre. This southe rn village was targeted during the July
war resulting in 25 per cent of its houses being totally destroyed – 249 houses – and
many partially destroyed. Syria adopte d the village to provide assistance to those with
TDH. However, the identification of those in need, the dissemination of financial support
and the physical reconstruction of those homes has been hampere d by a lack of
communication betwee n the assisting bodies, to include JAB, the COS, the government
and Syria. A limited capacity of local construction workers and confus ion over legal
juris diction conce rning re construction on common land slowe d the provision of
assistance down further. Worsening economic situations, with post-war reductions in
income, increased medical care for some as a result of the a ttacks and additiona l
reconstruction and renting burdens have inte nsified the s uffering for many.

Yusuf was a resident of Qle ileh village and his house was amongst those 249 houses
totally destroyed (TDH). He therefore stayed at his daughter’s home for 6 months. In
addition his son’s home was pa rtially destroyed. After the conflict e nded, and while
staying in his daughter’s house, Yusuf repaired his son’s house with the m oney given by
JAB, US$21,000, and by COS, US$16,000 while he waited for Syrian com pensation.

The acceptability of the assisting actor to diffe ring membe rs of the community and the
inability of residents to choose the source of their assistance create d problems. Some
people with TDH did not want Syrian assis tance; they wante d the CoS to provide
compensation. Yet, this was not a unanimous opinion. Indeed, there was furthe r
confusion as to whom, out of the COS and Syria would directly provide the assistance.
When the time came for the CoS to provide a firs t payment with Syrian money, it was
declared that Syria would in fact provide directly all assistance. He nce, the compe nsation
phase was delayed until 2007. As a consequence, many people in nee d of a house had to
take action: “we had to take a decis ion, so we sta rted the process alone, borrowing
building materials and labour” said Yusuf.

After 18 months, Syria starte d the first phase of the reconstruction process for 60 houses
through employing loca l contractors, while 100 houses had to wait until they finished this
first phase. However, Yusuf was confronte d with a particula r pre dicament. Around 40m
of his property was comm unal property and, the refore, he had to await pe rmission to
start the recons truction process from the municipality. In May 2008 Yusuf gaine d
permission, however, only because his son gave up his garden, 210m of his land, to the
municipality in order for a village road to be e nlarged.

No sooner had Y usuf begun to re build his home did the municipality, after com pleting
the construction of the road, tell him to stop. He nee ded to give the municipality back
the 40m. This require d Yusuf removing a ll the ne wly built foundations at an additiona l
cost to him of US$15,000. It proved a very stressful time as Yusuf emotionally expla ined,

“I suffered from a severe hea rt problem caused by the reconstruction dilemma which le d
to an open hea rt surgery”.

In addition to this new financial burde n, he had received inadequate compe nsation for
the physical destruction of his buildings and for the damage to his livelihoods and
subsequent loss of income, to include, burnt down olive trees across land of 5000m and
the destruction of his grocery store that was worth US$30,000. Although he was grateful
of the US$1,400 from JAB in 2008, clearly this would not suffice. Many others, as will be
discussed, found themselves in s imilar situa tions.

What is apparent is that the war did not just cause physical destruction but, also, caused
economic and social im plica tions. Yus uf, clearly upset, said: “my son was e ngaged before
the war but he’s not being able to get married anymore because of me and his mom
have no place to go and we a re forced to s tay over his place”.

The municipality declare d that the delay in the reconstruction has 2 main reasons:

 The donors didn’t have the capacity or relationship with the comm unity to deal with
the scale of the problem.

 The local contractors don’t have the capacity to provide all the work needed to all
the homes.

These factors meant that there were de lays in assistance and, also, a lack of any
assistance that, in turn, meant many, unqua lified as construction workers, re built their
homes. However, the lack of Syrian assistance has meant that they can no longe r
financially afford to finish the work and are left with partia lly repaired homes or, are in
costly and vulnerable renting s ituations.

The confusion and delays in assistance produced panic responses. Ali Hussein Jawad was
renting a house, however, with pressure from the landlord and houses for rent in
demand, he was forced to buy the house. This has made his financial situation worse. Ali
now suffe rs from a bad financial situation. He borrowed money, US$25,000, from a
relative to buy the house but does not earn enough to repay the relative and, in addition,
has to provide for 5 kids. 109 It is causing him furthe r stress, particularly, as he states, “I
have no idea where to get the m oney from to pay my US$25,000 debts”.

For Hassan Ali Saleh the re was not e nough assistance. Hassan had to stop the
reconstruction nine months ago because they were unable to borrow anymore and now
face eviction if they don’t finish. The only assistance they had received was from JAB,
which they were grateful for: “I don’t know how I could’ve managed without the money
giving to us from JAB for the re ntal cost” decla res Ali Saleh’s wife.

Similarly, Khalil Ibrahim Shibli and his family began to repair the ir home with the
assistance from JA B’s compensation of US$10,000 and finished the process by taking
loans in hope that they would be repaid by Syria. However, “Syria didn’t adopt those who
undertook the reconstruction by themselves” he said. He added: “the supplie rs are

He earns 25000LBP a day.

asking for their money, I and many others have no money to pay their rights. Many of us
will be in the jail s oon”.

It is even harde r for othe rs who also face medica l cos ts to cover. Mahmud Hassan Hassan
aged 45 years is disabled, he los t both his legs as a result of the 2006 war. Hassan’s no
longer work on orange farms like he used to and is struggling to provide for his wife and
5 young kids. Now he is renting a house, paying 500,000 LBP monthly for his medication
and has no source of income acce pt for his brothe r’s assistance. Hassan still hopes to ge t
compensation for his house. He said: “They promised us many times in compensation,
since 3 years nothing till now. We are waiting for CoS. Only JEB pay US$10,000 directly
after the wa r. It was not enough. My house was on communal land, so it couldn't bee n
adopted by Syria. Even if I could I don't want, for the long time it take in construction
process .we hope to get compensation from CoS othe rwise it will be disaste r”. He added:
“the rented house is in the second floor, and it is not easy for a disable person to get up
and down”.

The limited financial surplus has meant that the local cons truction workers a re now
facing economic problems. Mr. Koubaissy, a building material supplie r, explained that he
got a loan from the bank in order to buy the masonry mate rials to sell to those
rebuilding, however, with no m oney he a llowe d pe ople to have the materials and pay
him at a later date. He thought they would be paid soon. Now he is having to pay back
the bank for his loan but receiving no money for the materials he gave. He said, “I know
that they are suffe ring but no one can blame me be cause I am suffering from loans as

What is appa rent is the divergence in donor approach. Unlike Qatar who organised for a n
office to open in the village they were assis ting, Syria did not. Instead, apparently, Syria
gave all the money to the CoS and the council is in charge of choosing the contractors
and to pay them. Mahmud Hassan Hassan mentioned tha t “the re is a possibility tha t
Syria is going to pay for those who s tarte d the reconstruction on their own or for who
bought a house”. Also, those who rebuilt on comm unal land who failed to produce the
appropriate docume ntation m ight also rece ive compensation.

Amine Ibrahim Nasralah is one of the cases who was adopte d by Syria and has received
assistance. He lives with his wife and three young kids and after the wa r expe rience d a
decreased income. He lived on the second floor of his pare nt’s building. Since he has no
land he could not initially be adopted by Syria, therefore, he sued the JAB assistance of
US$10,000 to construct one room as an add-on to his parent’s house. In addition, his
wife’s parents gave him 150m2 of land so that Syria would provide help.

Syria insisted that the be neficiary had land to generate cons istently and enable a
uniformed construction response. Syria offe red three diffe rent plans for the
reconstruction in accordance to the houses’ surfaces areas: 130m2 , 150m2 and 170m2. If
the stakeholde rs have their own plan and do not exceed the dete rmined a rea, it should
be approved from the Syrian assisting body and CoS. The contractors and the supplie rs
should the n be selecte d from the list of names provided by CoS, and receive payment
from them too. The dual duty of an exte rnal and a n internal body meant confusion in
accountability and responsibility. When asked why there we re delays, “CoS said we a re

waiting Syria, while Syria is saying that the CoS is delaying the work. Contractors and
supplie rs said we are waiting the payments from CoS or Syria, in orde r to continue the

Recently Hassan Khalil, a CoS representative, came back from Syria, promising that Syria
would pay for all the pe ople even the ones who undertook the work themselves. For
people having communa l land, they have to wait for the governme nt to decide whe the r
to allow Syria to rebuild their houses on the same lands. Yet the government conside rs
Syria to have juris diction and, the refore, the process will be slowe d down further with
more confusion of responsibility.

Produced by: Wassim Shmayssani, NRC

The University of York’s
Post-war Reconstruction
& Development Unit (PRDU)
‘…linking theory and practice
for enablement and development…’

Established in 1993, the Post-war

Reconstruction and Development Unit
(PRDU) has pioneered the study of war-torn
societies and their recovery

The PRDU Tel: +44-1904-432640 © 2009
Derwent College
University of York Fax: +44-1904-432641 Post-w ar Reconstruction
Heslington & Development Unit,
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United Kingdom