From rehabilitating the Old Souks to revitalising Talaat Al Refaei for better economic opportunities and improving social integration and stability, the UK is now supporting over 1 in 5 Lebanese municipalities across Lebanon with over $30 million over 18 months.
As part of his regular visits to Tripoli, British Ambassador Hugo Shorter accompanied by LHSP programme manager Raghed Assi, met with the Head of the Municipality Ahmad Kamareddine and discussed UK investments in the city. Ambassador Shorter also toured the historical Souks of Tripoli to see firsthand the launching of phase two of the Lebanon Host Communities Project with an additional $1 million to rehabilitate around 60 shops. The project will create direct jobs for Lebanese and Syrians during the rehabilitation of the Souk. Since 2011 the UK has committed over $900 million supporting Lebanon’s stability and prosperity.
By 2019 we will have reached over 1,440,000 people and more than 220 municipalities under the Lebanon Host Communities programme (LHSP) in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and UNDP.
At the end of his visit Ambassador Shorter said:
It’s always fascinating to return to Tripoli. Today was an opportunity to discuss with the Head of the Municipality projects aimed at providing better economic opportunities for shop owners in the city. Last year UK Aid invested in a $500,000 project spent on renovating the Souks and Talaat Al Refaaei under LHSP. I am pleased to see today the start of the next phase where we will be continuing the rehabilitation of the Souks with an additional $1 million benefiting around 60 shops. I’m proud to say that we, along with donors, are playing an active role in the city’s development.
Investment in infrastructure will benefit Lebanese citizens and support future economic growth, something that the Government of Lebanon is trying to achieve through the upcoming CEDRE conference in Paris matched with economic reforms. Since 2015 the UK has given $14 million in support to projects which enhance economic opportunities for vulnerable Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian youth in areas such as Tripoli and the Bekaa.
Shop owners in the Souks said that such projects will have a positive impact on their livelihoods, income and that they are not forgotten, generations to come will be grateful for this support.
Ambassador Shorter also visited MP Sleiman Franjieh and discussed the latest local and regional developments.