Brussels, 17 July 2008
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy commented: "After the Doha Agreement and the forming of a government Lebanon is facing a wide variety of challenges ranging from political reforms in the run-up to next year's elections, restoring the trust of the Lebanese people in its government and administration to reviving the economy. I have always underlined that we will continue to accompany the Lebanese government on this difficult path. Improvement of rule of law, a stronger private sector and reconstruction in the area of Nahr el-Bared in Northern Lebanon will all contribute to stabilizing Lebanon both politically and economically."
The three priorities within the 2008 Action Programme are:
Under the European Neighbourhood Policy the volume of assistance to Lebanon
will be €187 million between 2007 -2010. Under the 2007 Annual Action
Programme, Lebanon was granted € 50 million addressing economic recovery,
political reforms, access to finance, de-mining ad clearance of unexploded
ordnance as well as support to education for the Palestinian refugees in
Lebanon. This includes a € 15 million European Commission grant linked to
a € 100 million European Investment Bank global loan in support of Small
and Medium size Enterprises directly or indirectly affected by the conflict.
Additional European Community assistance was also provided through other
€ 4.7 million were provided for immediate humanitarian relief to the victims of the fighting that erupted in and around the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp. Under the Instrument for Stability (IfS), funding was provided for the reconstruction of the camp (€ 6.8 million) and for a border management pilot project in Northern Lebanon (€ 2 million) and to help improve criminal investigation techniques (€ 0.4 million).
Further information on EU-Lebanon relations: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/lebanon/index_en.htm