Over 4000 residents in Bissarieh will benefit from a UK-funded project designed to meet increased demand for water resulting from the refugee influx. In 2014/15 the UK has doubled its support to municipalities, meaning that $21million will reach 49 of the most vulnerable municipalities on the frontline of Lebanon’s unprecedented refugee crisis. The project is part of the UNDP’s Lebanon Host Communities Support Project in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA).
In a visit to Bissarieh, where he met with Mayor Fouad Mchawrab and members of the municipal council, Ambassador Designate Hugo Shorter inaugurated two UK-funded projects He was accompanied by UNDP’s Chief Technical Adviser Marina Lo Giudice and the National Coordinator of the Lebanon Host Communities Support Project at MoSA, Suheir El Ghali. The water tank will provide access to clean water for around 800 households, helping reduce environmental and health threats. At the second, a community kitchen designed to support women’s livelihoods, he met with Lebanese women who are learning about safety and efficient processes for food production.
Speaking from Bissarieh Shorter said:
I am pleased to see how UK Aid is supporting Lebanon in hosting refugees displaced by the crisis in Syria. It was good to speak to people and see the positive impact this programme made on peoples’ lives. The UK has given over $450 million to support Lebanon. This includes funding to help build the army’s capacity, help Lebanon in hosting 1.5 million refugees from Syria through humanitarian and development activities, and funding to support those working for political stability.
I applaud Lebanon for its continued generosity in providing refuge for many of its Syrian neighbours. The UK is committed to supporting Lebanon both politically and financially. The UK is proud of the results that came out of the recent London conference on refugees. It was a good result for Lebanon: projects like this one will get an instant boost. We have doubled support. Now is the time for the International Community and the Lebanese government to live up to the promises made in London.
Mrs. Ghali, said:
The pressures on the social infrastructure of host communities in this prolonged crisis are a great burden on the municipalities responding to it in ways to improve conditions and support social resilience. The Ministry of Social Affairs, through LHSP, contributes in responding to these needs and supporting the municipalities in facing the crisis. The projects we launch today and which are implemented in collaboration with Bissarieh municipality and funded by UKDFID, are an example of such contribution. The importance of these projects is that they complement the response to the immediate needs of the communities and economically empower a main category in the community: women. We start the month of March in celebration of the role of women and their tremendous contributions to their communities.
Also speaking at the site, Mrs. Lo Giudice said:
We are pleased that one of the major donors of the MoSA-UNDP partnership “The Lebanon Host Communities Support Project”, the United Kingdom, is here today to share impressions with the municipality of Bissarieh and see its investment applied for the realization of two important projects. These projects have been identified in a participatory way (through the Maps of Risks and Resources methodology), which has involved the municipality and the communities, under the guidance of MoSA and the technical assistance of UNDP. We know that the crisis has put the municipalities under pressure in their capacity to provide basic services, and weighed as well on the population when looking for job opportunities, and this is affecting particularly youth and women. The two projects we visited today respond to some of the existing needs of one of the vulnerable communities in the South, affected by the impact of the Syria crisis: safe water access and job creation for women. We are glad that through the LHSP platform the international community; represented today by UK AID, are able to contribute not only to respond to the needs of the communities, but also to create conditions for improving the livelihood and life of the most vulnerable population, and we thank them for this.