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Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
27 February 2009

Signing agreement of the UNDP project "Recovery and Development of Naher el Bared Surrounding Municipalities”

The UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Marta Ruedas and the Ambassador of Italy, H.E Mr. Gabriele Checchia signed an agreement to implement the project “Recovery and Development of Naher el Bared Surrounding Municipalities”, funded by the Italian Government for a total amount of 1,2 million Euros.

The signing ceremony took place on Thursday 26 of February 2009, at the premises of the Italian Embassy, in the presence of the President of the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee, Ambassador Khalil Mekkawi, the director of UNRWA Affairs Mr. Salvatore Lombardo and the NBC Recovery and Reconstruction Cell of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Sateh Arnaout.

The project focuses on 6 municipalities surrounding the NBC area: Muhammara, Bebnine, Bhanine, Minieh, Beddawi and Deir Amar, with US$ 1,917,000 committed from the Government of Italy for Phase I of the project. As a continuation of work already completed, the partnership with the Italian Government is being extended with a second phase to the project.

According to Ms. Marta Ruedas, Phase I of the project, launched in 2008, has been the first step in responding to immediate needs of the local communities after the conflict.

Ms. Ruedas added that Phase II of the project will be an enhancement to the previous phase, also expanding to cover support to community based organizations and to have a special emphasis on Youth and Reconciliation activities as an agent for peace.

The project will be supporting 3 major economic sectors: the fishery, the agriculture and the Small and Medium Enterprises with a particular focus on the Lebanese population living within the Camp. In parallel, other interventions will focus on the capacity building of community based organizations enhancing participation and reconciliation, primarily on youth.

“While the first project was meant to respond to the immediate and emergency-related needs and was, therefore mainly directed to early recovery, the project we are signing today will gradually move towards recovery and development, targeting the economic growth of the surrounding communities of NBC” said Ambassador Checchia, adding that the strategy adopted will consider the livelihood component as a core pillar that will permit to promote dialogue and social cohesion between Lebanese and Palestinian communities in the area”.

“These projects contribute to the alleviation of poverty in this most underserved area of Lebanon, and they also encourage the development of its human resources through the creation of job opportunities and steady incomes to the people of the region bringing them hope for a better future especially for the youth” said Ambassador Mekkawi.

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