Since 2019, Lebanon has undergone multiple economic, political, and social crises that have exacerbated the heavy burdens on its population, including poverty, unemployment, and economic precarity. The ramifications of these recent shocks for gender-based violence (GBV) and access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services are particularly stark, which has drawn the attention and concern of funders and international actors around the world. As flows of funds from foreign countries become increasingly crucial for the legitimacy and position of the ruling class and rehabilitation of the economy, and as international aid is increasingly scrutinised due to concerns about corruption and transparency post-Beirut port explosion, it becomes more important to critically analyse these financial flows and their impact on women human rights defenders’ activities. This article seeks to critically evaluate the financial flows since 2012 going towards issues of GBV and SRH, considering the different actors, initiatives, and populations for which they are earmarked. Further, it examines how these funding strategies affect women activists. The article presents a review of the context of GBV and SRH, and access to protection and SRH services in Lebanon. Subsequently, it presents an analysis of how aid is directed to issues of GBV and sexual and reproductive rights, and its impact on feminist activism using data from desk-based research and interviews with decision-makers, co-ordinators, officers, and activists from international, regional, and local organisations. Finally, it offers a set of conclusions and observations on funders and actors responsible for aid planning.
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