In a southern visit to Saida, Sarafand and Shukeen British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter reiterated the UK’s support to Lebanon’s host communities, the unsung heroes at the forefront of the Syrian refugee crisis. The visit comes ahead of the Brussels conference next week where world leaders, and Lebanon, will come together to assess where the international community stands collectively in fulfilling commitments made at the London Conference in February 2016.
The inauguration of the Non-Organic Waste Facility in Sarafand was held in the presence of the UK Ambassador in Lebanon Hugo Shorter, UNDP Country Director Mr. Luca Renda, Advisor to the Minister of Social Affairs (MoSA) Mr. Mario Abou Zeid, representatives from the UK embassy, Mayor of Sarafand Mr. Ali Haidar, members of the municipal council, stakeholders and beneficiaries from the area. The project was implemented within the Lebanon Host Communities Support Programme (LHSP).
Funded by the UK, the project provided equipment to support the centre and held an awareness campaign on the importance and benefits of sorting from the source in order to reduce critical health and environmental risks resulting from random incineration. The project also held similar campaigns in surrounding villages.
Villages like Addosiyeh and Kfarjarra have already started sorting from source and are benefiting from the facility which is being operated by 13 workers. Mayor of Sarafand welcomed the attendees and thanked the UK, MoSA and UNDP for their support.
At the end of the visit British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter said:
As the Lebanese proverb goes ‘a small stone supports a jar’, I am optimistic but also realistic. Much more needs to be done. But I believe that local communities and municipalities with their resilience and with our support and that of the international community make a success out of the current crisis. It makes me proud to see how the UK is supporting Sarafand on the ground with actions not words. Our support shows that the UK continues to be outward facing and committed to our global partnerships.
Next week in Brussels, representatives of 70 countries - including Lebanon represented by PM Hariri - will come together to review progress since the London conference in 2016. I am very proud to say that in February 2016 $12 billion was pledged to support the Syria crisis for Syria and the region – more than has even been pledged before for a humanitarian crisis in a single day. International funding for Lebanon amounted to $1.9 billion in 2016. The UK is playing its part as the third largest bilateral donor to Lebanon, and our commitment will continue in the years to come.
Shorter also met with former Mayor of Saida Abdel Rahman El Bizri where discussions focused on local and regional issues. At Shukeen, the head of ‘Medrar’ Abdallah Berri welcomed the ambassador and the accompanying delegation at the facility which offers support to Lebanese and Syrian refugees alike. The work of ‘Medrar’ is particularly focused on the short and long-term, direct and indirect impacts of human conflicts or war.
- Notes to editors
- Lebanon is the 2nd highest recipient of UK Aid in the region after Syria, totalling £340m. The UK continues to be one of the largest bilateral donors to the Syria crisis in Lebanon and the region.
- Across the whole of Lebanon we are supporting host communities coping with the weight of the refugee crisis. Working in 51 municipalities across Lebanon our projects have helped build solar power facilities, water tanks, pavements, irrigation facilities, and recreational areas.
- The Lebanon Host Communities Support Programme has so far implemented more than 372 projects covering different sectors and benefiting more than 1.1 million Lebanese and Syrians thanks to support from international donors.