Municipalities and unions of municipalities in Lebanon receive financial support for the implementation of projects

Nine municipalities and two unions will receive financial support to implement local economic development projects and basic services, which will benefit more than one million direct and indirect beneficiaries in the South, North and Metn regions of Lebanon. Over US $ 5.5 million will be funded for the implementation of these projects under the Municipal Empowerment and Resilience Project (MERP).

The MERP is a joint initiative implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat). The project is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of the Interior and Municipalities and financed by the European Union through its regional trust fund, the “Madad” fund. The overall objective of the MERP project is to strengthen the long-term resilience of subnational authorities in Lebanon as well as host communities, refugees and internally displaced persons affected by the Syrian crisis.

The identification of municipal and union projects was carried out by the MERP through a long process which began with a call for concept note launched at the end of 2020. The call was open to more than 80 municipalities and to the unions to which these municipalities are affiliated, including the Urban Community of Al-Fayhaa, the Union of Municipalities of Tire and the Federation of Municipalities of the North and Coast of Metn. A total of 33 municipalities and two unions submitted concept notes for basic services and local economic development projects.

After a technical and legal review carried out by the MERP, 17 municipalities and two unions were invited to the proposal development phase. During this period, the MERP provided continued support to municipalities and unions in developing the proposals. The pre-selected municipalities and unions collaborated with young people and civil society and participated in extensive online training and coaching sessions on proposal development. This allowed municipalities with different capacities to compete in the process. In addition, the approach has led to the development of the technical skills necessary to develop strong proposals with which municipalities and unions can attract external funding for future projects. After a final evaluation and review, the MERP selected a total of 11 projects to be implemented. However, the MERP also aims to support the municipalities not selected to obtain funding from other partners, in particular by organizing a municipal fair as part of this activity where all the municipalities had the chance to present their projects.

Selected final projects include:

– In the north: the rehabilitation and strengthening of firefighters in the Al-Fayhaa Urban Community and the establishment of a pole for young emerging entrepreneurs in Beddawi will strengthen and support pre-existing agricultural initiatives.

– In Metn: in Bikfaya – Mahydse will support micro, medium and small businesses and create new livelihood opportunities for residents of all nationalities. In Nabay, a solar energy project will be implemented to generate renewable and environmentally friendly energy.

– In the south: the establishment of Dar Sour, an agricultural market, and the rehabilitation of the El Hesba market in Tire will help support farmers, secure agricultural laboratory services in the region and create new opportunities for ‘use. The rehabilitation of the water basin and agricultural roads in the village of Al Boustan will allow irrigation for agriculture and increase agricultural land. The installation of a new sewer line at Teir Debba will help reduce environmental and health risks for residents. In Alma El Chaab, support will focus on the rehabilitation of the existing well to increase agricultural land. In Deir Qanoun El Nahr, a solar energy project will be implemented to generate renewable and environmentally friendly energy. Finally, in Cana, support will be provided to set up a popular market and help farmers in Cana and neighboring villages to market their products.

In parallel, and following a municipal finance assessment finalized in 2021, the MERP will support the implementation of municipal finance solutions in the unions and municipalities selected for the implementation of the project in order to strengthen the collection of revenue / budget efficiency and promote transparency and responsiveness. This in turn will promote the long term sustainability of the proposed projects.

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