The European Commission adopted a new €44 million assistance package that will contribute to the promotion of stability and economic and social development in Lebanon. The projects will support the country's electoral reform process, will aim at enhancing the waste management sector and will foster socio-economic development along the Litani River Basin.
Ahead of visiting Lebanon, High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "During my visit to Lebanon today, I will confirm the European Union full support to stability, security, and unity of the country. Lebanon can count on EU commitment from the humanitarian aid to development cooperation, but also on economic and security levels. We will also continue to accompany Lebanon in its solidarity towards Syrian people fleeing the crisis. The next Brussels II Conference on supporting the future of Syria and the region will be the opportunity to channel more support from the international community for Lebanon".
Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said: "We will support the electoral reform and democratic participation, promote integrated waste management, and help improving socio-economic conditions for the Lebanese people. The new EU projects come in addition to our efforts to mitigate the impact of the Syrian conflict to the Lebanese society and economy, for which the EU has provided €1 billion to Syrian refugees and host communities in Lebanon".
The package consists of three programmes:
• The programme "Support to Electoral Reform and Democratic Participation in Lebanon" aims at developing the capacity of national entities to conduct credible, periodical, transparent and inclusive elections in the country. It will strengthen public confidence in the electoral process, thereby contributing to Lebanon's democratic consolidation.
• "Towards a Decentralised Waste Management Integrated Response" programme is designed to enhance the capacity of the Governorates of Beirut and Mount Lebanon to process waste management. It will also contribute to the establishment of better and environmentally-friendly waste governance in general.
• The "Local Development Programme along the Litani River Basin" component is focused on promoting stability in the country through the improvement of socio-economic conditions and the resilience of the populations living along the Litani River. It will strengthen the institutional capacities of local governments and promote public and private partnerships generating employment opportunities and improving delivery of basic needs.
This package comes in addition to the support provided by the European Commission to Lebanon since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, which amounts to more than €1.2 billion, including almost €1 billion in assistance to Lebanese hosting communities and refugees.
The European Union and Lebanon adopted a Partnership Priority and a Compact in December 2016 to improve the living conditions of both refugees temporarily staying in Lebanon and of vulnerable host communities. The Partnership aims at improving the socio-economic prospects, security, stability and resilience of the whole Lebanon. In turn Lebanon commits to ease the temporary stay of Syrian refugees, in particular regarding their residency status.
The EU and Lebanon established a Single Support Framework (SSF) for 2017-2020 that frames the EU's financial cooperation around three broad intervention areas: (1) growth and job creation, (2) local governance and socio-economic development and (3) Rule of Law and enhancing security. This SSF is also instrumental in honouring the pledge the EU made towards Lebanon on the occasion of the conference the EU hosted in Brussels, in April 2017, to ensure continuous engagement of the international community in supporting the future of Syria and the region. A second Brussels conference is foreseen in spring 2018.
The package adopted under the Annual Action Programme 2017 follows up on the SSF commitments, by allocating money to concrete programmes that will become operational on the ground in the months and years to come.
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