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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/48/453
6 October 1993

Original: English

Agenda item 100


SPECIAL PROGRAMMES OF ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

Assistance for the reconstruction and development of Lebanon

Report of the Secretary-General


CONTENTS
Paragraphs
Page
I.
II.
INTRODUCTION
GENERAL SITUATION
1
2 - 19
3
3
A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
Government
Emergency
Economy
Reconstruction
Displaced persons
2 - 33
4 - 63
7 - 11
12 - 17
18 - 19
3
3
4
5
7
III.ROLE AND ACTIVITIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM
20 - 116
7
A.United Nations assistance for the reconstruction
and development of Lebanon
22 - 37
7
B.
C.
D.
E.
United Nations Secretariat
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for
Palestine Refugees in the Near East
38 - 44
45 - 52
53 - 61
62 - 70
11
12
14
15
F.
G.
H.
I.
J.
K.
L.
M.
N.
O.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
World Food Programme
United Nations International Drug Control Programme
International Labour Organization
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
World Health Organization
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
World Bank
International Monetary Fund
71 - 73
74
75 - 78
79 - 84
85 - 94
95 - 100
101 - 108
109 - 111
112 - 115
116
17
18
18
19
20
21
22
25
25
26
IV.CONCLUSIONS
117 - 118
27



I. INTRODUCTION


1. The present report is submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to General Assembly resolution 47/155. It provides a brief description of the progress achieved in Lebanon between 1 June 1992 and 31 July 1993 in implementing the provisions of that resolution.

II. GENERAL SITUATION


A. Government

2. Following elections for the first time in 20 years, a new legislature was installed for a four-year term starting October 1992. Subsequently, a new Prime Minister was appointed.

3. The programme of the new Government was conceived within the framework and towards the complete achievement of the objectives of the Taef Agreement. The Prime Minister specified in January the objectives of the Government for the year 1993: substantial progress with respect to the return and reintegration of the displaced; appointment of a committee and work on elimination of political sectarianism; formation of a constitutional council; formation of an advisory economic and social council; completion of the appointment of civil servants and local administrators; adoption of a new citizen law; and mobilization of the nation and its resources in support of Lebanese resistance against Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory.

B. Emergency

4. The continuing instability in southern Lebanon during the review period continued to affect the conduct of government affairs and the progress of reconstruction and economic recovery. The unstable situation in the southern part of the country deteriorated briefly but gravely in July 1993. Armed conflict intensified on 25 July, when in response to rocket attacks on northern Israel there were massive and sustained Israeli attacks on towns and villages of southern Lebanon and West Bekaa for seven continuous days. The violence displaced more than half of the region's population for a one-week period, as about 350,000 people fled their homes and sought refuge in safer areas, particularly Beirut and its southern suburbs and Saida. As families returned to their villages at the end of hostilities on 31 July, there were reports of approximately 130 persons killed and 500 injured, as well as considerable damage to private property and productive resources, including 1,500 destroyed housing units, 2,500 severely damaged and more than 15,000 slightly damaged.

5. The Government responded quickly and resolutely to these grave developments, acting on the diplomatic, economic and humanitarian levels. It stressed repeatedly that the armed conflict would not be allowed to derail or delay the reconstruction process and redoubled its efforts to keep the programme on track and on schedule. In order to meet the emergency needs of the affected population the Government decided that all of its limited resources would be deployed. Reflecting the concern of the national authorities, the High Relief Committee (HRC) was immediately upgraded to a ministerial committee presided over by the Prime Minister, with responsibility for policy-making, general direction and coordination of emergency relief operations. The HRC would relate, at the operational level, to concerned line ministries and public agencies as well as the community of non-governmental organizations. The determined national response, involving both public and private sectors, and the vigilance of the international community with the support of the United Nations system, succeeded in meeting acute emergency needs through the airlifting of medicines, basic food, tents and bedding, emergency supplies etc. within a few weeks. The Government then shifted its attention to meeting short-term humanitarian needs, including reconstruction of destroyed houses and repair of damaged housing; repair and reconstruction of schools, including re-equipment and supply of basic education materials; repair and reconstruction of dispensaries and water-supply and waste-water networks: support towards rehabilitation of economic activities, particularly the agricultural sector; and strengthening the national capacity manage emergencies and preparedness for natural and man-made disasters. The United Nations system, including the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), assists the Government at both the central and operational levels with emergency relief coordination and operations. In this context and at the request of the Government of Lebanon, a United Nations Inter-agency Humanitarian Needs Assessment Mission to South Lebanon and West Bekaa visited Lebanon from 8 to 13 August 1993 (see para. 29 below).

6. At an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League Council in Damascus, convened at the request of the Government of Lebanon, it was decided to grant Lebanon US$ 500 million for the reconstruction of the villages destroyed in the south and for the re-equipment of the Army. The Government of Lebanon and the Arab League took immediate action to ensure the effective implementation of the decision.

C. Economy

7. The Lebanese economy evolved in a somewhat uneven manner in 1992. Following a recession during the second and third quarters, there was a noticeable recovery in the fourth quarter, which led to a rise in gross domestic product (GDP), so that the year ended with real growth of 4.2 per cent as compared to 1991.

8. The confidence regained during the fourth quarter and the favourable anticipations of the economic establishment generated a strong demand for the Lebanese pound, which appreciated in value by 24.1 per cent in 1992. However, the evolution in the opposite direction of GDP and money supply during the first three quarters, which had been influenced by an unfavourable political climate and a rising budget deficit, had earlier led to a depreciation of 175 per cent. During the fourth quarter, massive capital inflows totalling US$ 1.350 million, created a balance-of-payments surplus which offset the cumulative deficit of the first three quarters. In fact, the year ended with a balance-of-payments surplus of US$ 46.1 million, which helped to consolidate the value of the currency.

9. Economic performance during the first quarter of 1993 has been average, due to slack demand in both the domestic and international economies. This weakness was accentuated by the restrictive budgetary policy adopted by the Government, which resulted in relative decreases of GDP and imports. According to expert estimates, GDP increased at an average annual rate of 6.2 per cent during the first quarter, against 15 per cent envisaged in the various recovery plans. Growth has also been restrained by limited private investment, both domestically and externally.

10. However, 1993 is expected to be a year of vigorous recovery characterized by better control of inflation and the exchange rate, better balance in public finance, real growth of GDP and a return to normal interest rates. However, these fundamental changes can only be achieved if the Government adopts a policy of macroeconomic adjustments, as recommended by international organizations, and conducts them with dynamism and determination.

11. Despite an improved economic situation, restrictive budget policies, the delay in significant private sector involvement, the slow pace of disbursements of foreign assistance and high inflation un-compensated by cost-of-living increases in 1992 have combined to perpetuate and aggravate the social situation. It is estimated that at least one third of the population faces financial hardship and difficult living conditions, particularly because of the excessive cost of schooling and health care provided by the private sector. There remains a strong case for humanitarian assistance to low-income groups and other vulnerable groups, in addition to the considerable needs for assistance to emergency cases and residents in confrontation villages in the south. In this connection, in July 1992 the Government reorganized the High Relief Committee to improve the efficiency and accountability of its operations.

D. Reconstruction

12. Following the 1989 Taef accord, the first steps were taken towards restoring normal life. The Government revived the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) and entrusted it with the task of preparing a national reconstruction strategy and implementing a Priority Rehabilitation Programme (PRP), consisting of a total investment of US$ 4.5 billion over a five-year period, representing 18 per cent of the total damage of US$ 25 billion estimated by the United Nations. The government recovery strategy and the PRP were presented in December 1991 to a World Bank-sponsored aid coordination meeting. At this meeting the international donor community showed an increased interest and a willingness to support the reconstruction of the Lebanese economy. On the recommendation of the World Bank, the Government then set out to prepare a subset programme, the National Emergency Rehabilitation Programme (NERP), amounting to US$ 2.3 billion of public investment during the 1992-1993 period. The NERP comprises US$ 1.7 billion public infrastructure investment, US$ 250 million for credit to the private sector and US$ 300 million for technical assistance, both project related and non-project related. The NERP, which was launched in mid-1993, is designed to function as a multisectoral operation focused on emergency repairs and the rehabilitation of physical and social infrastructure. It aims to undertake, in a relatively short-time span, a series of integrated measures designed to have maximum impact on restoring economic activity and alleviating social hardship. It will be presented to and discussed at the forthcoming World Bank donor coordination meeting, tentatively scheduled to be held during the fourth quarter of 1993.

13. The Government decided early in 1993 to give increased emphasis to issues of institutional renewal and development and to design and formulate an approach, framework and programme towards this end to accompany the NERP. Indeed, the reconstruction and development of Lebanon pose a number of institutional and human resources problems which must be addressed.

14. The PRP and NERP are part of a wider planning effort which comprises three phases - emergency rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction - before the stage of self-sustaining development is reached. Within that context and during the review period, the CDR has prepared a draft 10-year plan for the period 1993-2002, the objectives and elements of which were disclosed in April 1993. The 10-year national reconstruction plan is costed at US$ 10 billion. The plan aims to complete the reconstruction of the country before engaging in the endogenous establishment of adequate basic infrastructure, including social infrastructure, as a basis for stimulating the development of the productive sectors; balanced regional distribution of public investment; and promotion of private-sector development by providing incentives to increased savings.

15. The 10-year national economic recovery plan forecasts an average growth of 8 per cent for GDP at constant 1991 United States dollars. This would raise GDP in the year 2002 to more than US$ 28 billion, which corresponds to a per capita GDP of more than US$ 2,150. In order to reach this objective, a sustained investment effort will be necessary. Representing an average of 25 per cent of GDP, investment between 1993 and 2002 should reach a cumulative total of US$ 28 billion, of which 65 per cent should come from the private sector. This share is equitable in a country where the public sector contributes nearly 20 per cent to GDP.

16. Government officials at the highest level and the CDR have intensified efforts to sensitize and mobilize donors with a view to accelerating commitments and obtaining rapid disbursements of financial resources for reconstruction. Disbursements of external assistance for 1992 were down to approximately US$ 90 million compared to US$ 161 million in 1991. External funds secured up to 31 May 1993 in support of the reconstruction of Lebanon reached US$ 1,020 million, of which 15 per cent was in the form of grants. Of the total, US$ 630 million is slated for NERP projects, US$ 189 million for projects outside NERP and US$ 200 million for projects either inside or outside NERP. The main donors are Italy, the European Community, Arab development funds and the World Bank. United Nations assistance available for reconstruction amounts to more than US$ 30 million, essentially technical assistance.

17. The considerable achievements of the Council for Development and Reconstruction since early 1991 deserve special mention. From the difficult situation prevailing in early 1991 to the present situation in which a large number of important reconstruction projects are being launched, tremendous progress has been made as a result of strong commitment, determination and a clear focus on the part of the CDR in conducting business. This remarkable effort augurs well for the short and medium terms and is expected to lead to stronger donor commitment during the months ahead. It is also expected to convince the Lebanese expatriates and private sector to participate more fully in the reconstruction of Lebanon.


E. Displaced persons

18. A particularly important issue concerns the return and reintegration of displaced persons (about 70,000 families or 500,000 persons). The recommendations of the National Conference on the Displaced, which was held with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) late in June 1992, have provided the work programme to the authorities concerned with the subject. Principal recommendations included the establishment of a national council as well as the establishment of a central fund; the full restoration of the right of the displaced to return to their homes and to reclaim their property; the establishment of arbitration committees to settle differences and rebuild confidence; the full reconstruction of destroyed villages; and the priority of implementing a housing loan programme. In December 1992, Parliament approved the creation of both the Ministry of the Displaced and the Central Fund for the Displaced.

19. Effective progress in the return and reintegration of displaced persons has been held up by two obstacles: one the one hand, the need to establish an institutional framework and mobilize resources for operating expenditures; on the other, the lack of financial resources, in particular adequate and affordable housing finance, as well as resources for priority and emergency rehabilitation of public services.

III. ROLE AND ACTIVITIES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM

20. Provision of assistance to Lebanon by the United Nations is managed at the central level by the Office of the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. At the field level, the programme of United Nations Assistance for the Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon (UNARDOL) functions as the United Nations coordinator's office and ensures coordination of the activities of the United Nations system in support of the overall objectives and specific programmes of the Government of Lebanon.

21. Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 46/173, operative paragraph 5 (b), the Secretary-General nominated in December 1991 a Resident Coordinator in Beirut to coordinate all United Nations programmes of assistance for the reconstruction and development of Lebanon. The Coordinator has been resident in Beirut since mid-January 1992 in order to create a coherent framework for enhanced coordination and expanded activities of economic and technical assistance for the reconstruction and development of Lebanon.

A. United Nations assistance for the reconstruction and development of Lebanon

22. The UNARDOL Resident Coordinator promotes cooperation and coordination of United Nations system activities with a view to establishing, at the field level, a strong, integrated United Nations system programme in support of the objectives of the government's reconstruction and development programme. The Resident Coordinator works towards creating mechanisms that will ensure the provision of the necessary resources for expanded United Nations activities and undertakes related resource mobilization through coherent and coordinated action by the Government, the United Nations system and the donor community. The Resident Coordinator works closely and harmoniously with representatives of the specialized agencies and programmes of the United Nations system.

23. The basic thrust of UNARDOL activities in the past few years has been to step up humanitarian assistance and support for rehabilitation and capacity-building of public institutions.

24. During the review period, United Nations presence in Lebanon has been strengthened, as an increasing number of projects have become operational. For the first time since the war, field operations for development activities involving international personnel outside Beirut, particularly in remote areas, have been initiated. This is a clear sign of both the improved stability achieved through the action of the national authorities and the growing confidence of the international community in the future prospects of Lebanon's reconstruction and development.

25. UNARDOL has intensified consultations with the Government in support of national reconstruction objectives, priorities and programmes. It has consolidated the already excellent working relationships with the highest authorities and high officials in key ministries and agencies. This is partly the result of continuous efforts to brief the Government on the United Nations system role, mission, capacities and constraints. The Government is currently much better informed about the United Nations system and the scope and limits of its assistance.

26. UNARDOL has continued its regular activities of coordination through exchange of information, advocacy of key global themes, promotion of collaboration and joint implementation of programmes and projects, and donor sensitization of priority government needs. These activities were conducted through the United Nations Coordination Committee, which is composed of the chiefs of missions of United Nations agencies, programmes and missions in Lebanon. UNARDOL maintains very close contacts with the World Bank and supports its activities in Lebanon, which is a reflection of the emerging working relationship and role distribution of the World Bank and United Nations system in Lebanon. Coordination activities were also conducted through the Donor Coordination Committee, which groups the local representatives of bilateral and multilateral agencies present in Lebanon. UNARDOL has regularly issued monthly briefs on salient developments of government activity, the economy, reconstruction and economic assistance, including United Nations system activities.

27. Within the context of the United Nations Coordination Committee, four inter-agency working groups are operational, each involving a core group of United Nations agencies and associating interested donors and important non-governmental organizations. The activities of these working groups, on emergency management, education, displaced persons and the environment, will assume increasing importance as the Government launches the various sectoral rehabilitation programmes with the support of the United Nations system. The working groups review and integrate international goals and strategies in the formulation of a common national strategy with inputs by participating agencies, as well as formulate and implement programmes and budgets in a collaborative manner.

28. The Inter-agency Working Group on Emergency Management participated in the National Workshop on Disaster Management Training, which was held in April 1993. UNARDOL, as a convener of the Working Group, in cooperation with the American University of Beirut, as the regional cooperating institution of the Disaster Management Training Programme, meanwhile initiated follow-up on the implementation of the Workshop recommendations, specifically the creation and strengthening of the institutional framework for emergency management at the national level.

29. In late July 1993, responding to the emergency created by the armed conflict in southern Lebanon and the West Bekaa, the United Nations Coordinator immediately activated the Working Group to organize immediate relief operations and coordinate United Nations system relief programme assistance. This involved frequent and reliable reporting on the situation and relief needs as events unfolded. It also involved collaborative action with UNIFIL, which in its area of operations provided immediate and effective assistance both during the armed conflict and in its aftermath, providing shelter and food to 1,360 people, as well as providing emergency medicines, medical treatment and emergency supplies to thousands of others. UNIFIL also assisted in removing the rubble and debris of destroyed and damaged housing and physical infrastructure, as well as livestock carcasses. United Nations agencies and programmes collaborated closely in distributing functions and sharing resources to meet immediate needs. The United Nations system plans to further support the Government in its short-term humanitarian assistance programme by expanding its operations, subject to availability of resources. Short-term needs were identified by the United Nations Inter-agency Humanitarian Needs Assessment Mission to South Lebanon and West Bekaa, which visited Lebanon from 8 to 13 August 1993 to assess the basic needs of the population affected by the recent violence in southern Lebanon and West Bekaa; assess the ongoing national and donor-sponsored relief programmes in southern Lebanon and West Bekaa; identify the logistical constraints of the delivery of such assistance and propose solutions for its effective delivery; and make recommendations concerning the needs that must be addressed before the onset of the winter of 1993/94. The Mission identified short-term humanitarian needs, including support to rehabilitate income-generating activities, amounting to approximately US$ 30 million. These needs, in particular housing, repair of and reconstruction of schools, and provision of agricultural inputs must be met before the onset of winter 1993/94. The Mission, in which UNARDOL participated, worked in close cooperation with and under the overall guidance of the Resident Coordinator. The Inter-agency Mission concluded with the arrival, on 14 August, of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, who presented to the national authorities the conclusions of the United Nations Inter-agency Mission. An appeal for humanitarian assistance was launched by the United Nations on 20 August 1993.

30. UNARDOL has continued individually (and, whenever relevant, jointly with chiefs of missions) consultations with the national authorities to determine the supporting role they expect the United Nations system to play at the country level and to provide policy advice in the context of the country's recovery effort. In this connection, UNARDOL has advised the Government, in the context of reconstruction, on the need to emphasize institutional rehabilitation and human resources development in order to support the implementation of physical reconstruction. The Government has heeded the advice and is now preparing with lead support from UNDP a two-phase programme, involving a needs assessment for reactivation of the public administration. Priority is being assigned to institutions responsible for economic management and central management of public administration, on the one hand, and the formulation of longer-term institutional development and administrative reform, including basic policy issues such as the role and functions of government, organization and structure of government, decentralization, privatization etc., on the other. The Government is also considering ways and means of institutionalizing the process of institutional development and capacity-building. UNARDOL has also advised the Government and has collaborated closely with the Prime Minister's Office, through the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, on overall technical cooperation management, including institutional framework, policy, database, rolling plan and monitoring. The Government is expected to establish a comprehensive technical cooperation management programme shortly, with the assistance of UNDP.

31. UNARDOL has followed up on the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the United Nations Inter-agency Needs Assessment Mission of July 1991. UNARDOL has participated in varying degrees in both the preparation of sector strategies by concerned government institutions and strategies and programmes of assistance by United Nations agencies.

32. Within the context of the forthcoming World Bank donor coordination meeting in Paris, UNARDOL, jointly with UNDP, is supporting government efforts to formulate a priority technical assistance programme (non-project related); design a strategy for resource mobilization; and establish a mechanism and arrangements for channelling and managing donor resources for technical assistance. As indicated, the emergency rehabilitation phase requires considerable technical assistance. UNARDOL will intensify resource mobilization efforts through contacts and missions to bilateral and multilateral donors and will campaign to attract resources for technical assistance programmes in particular.

33. UNARDOL will also continue efforts to mobilize resources for humanitarian assistance, particularly in favour of identified needs in the UNIFIL area of operations. UNARDOL has undertaken during the past few months an assessment of basic needs in the area and is in the process of finalizing a priority humanitarian assistance programme (US$ 12 million to 15 million; identified needs are much larger, up to US$ 25 million). The provision of such assistance through the United Nations system, in close collaboration or jointly with UNIFIL, will also help stabilize the area. The short-term objective is to expand and increase small and medium-scale operations, such as those frequently undertaken during the past few years with the resources of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations.

34. Given the magnitude of resources required for emergency rehabilitation, and considering the difficult international economic climate, UNARDOL has vigorously promoted the mobilization and application of the considerable resources and potential held by the Lebanese themselves, both locally and outside the country, in terms of human, technical and financial resources. These efforts have been supported and a contribution has been made in establishing the TOKTEN project financed by UNDP. The recent field presence of United Nations Volunteers in Lebanon opens new avenues in this connection, particularly through the establishment of a corps of national volunteers and the exploration of ways and means of inducing the scores of young graduates who left the country during the past decade to return. Efforts are also being made to attract Lebanese expatriate financial resources and domestic private-sector funds for supporting the reconstruction of the country and its economy. The establishment of a fund Lebanon Trust - Trust Lebanon, under United Nations/UNDP supervision and management - is an idea to be explored further on an urgent basis; resources gathered in this way could either be allocated to specific projects or directed to support programmes at large. The utilization of Lebanese potential to the fullest will provide the ultimate test that the country's reconstruction and development is well under way. UNARDOL plans to make a catalytic contribution in this respect in the near future.

35. Aware of the importance of the interface between relief, rehabilitation and development, UNARDOL has actively promoted and contributed to emergency repair and rehabilitation work during the period of instability and immediately following the end of hostilities. During the present phase, UNARDOL is actively supporting both programmes dealing with capacity-building for emergency management and disaster mitigation, and efforts aimed at eliminating the root causes of conflict and working towards effective prevention. In this connection, follow-up has been initiated on the recommendations of the recent National Workshop on Disaster Management conducted by the Department of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations/UNDP, including the establishment of a high-level national mechanism for emergency management; the formulation of an emergency preparedness plan; the implementation of a preventive action programme; and advocacy, education and information in the area of conflict resolution and peace-building.

36. In December 1992, for the first time in seven years, UNARDOL prepared and produced a comprehensive "Development cooperation report for Lebanon, 1991", and is in the process of completing the "Development cooperation report for Lebanon, 1993", scheduled for distribution in September 1993.

37. UNARDOL has initiated preparatory action towards the establishment of common premises and services of the United Nations system in Lebanon and in this context has formally submitted a request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have the issue reviewed and considered by the Council of Ministers. A decision on the subject is expected in the near future.

B. United Nations Secretariat

38. In July 1993, the Department for Development Support and Management Services of the United Nations undertook a mission to Lebanon to study and advise on personnel management in the public sector and the reorganization of the Institute for Training and In-service Training for Civil Servants.

39. In addition, in 1992 the Statistical Division of the United Nations Secretariat participated in the formulation of a project entitled "Rehabilitation of national statistical agency". Approval from the Government of Lebanon regarding the implementation of the proposal is being awaited.

40. The activities of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) were concentrated in two sectors as follows.

1. Agricultural sector

41. The joint ESCWA/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Division has assisted the Government of Lebanon by undertaking the following activities during the period under review:

(a) Through inter-agency missions, ESCWA, UNDP, the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and FAO participated in the preparation of:

(b) ESCWA prepared and published a study on the eradication of illicit crops in Lebanon and a study on the demand for credit in the agricultural sector. Assistance was also provided in preparing the law and regulation of a national bank for agricultural development.

42. In addition, a farm data handbook to cover all the ecological zones and the crops in Lebanon and a training workshop on project analysis are under preparation.

2. International migration in Lebanon

43. Through contacts with officials of the Government, two project ideas were formulated:

(a) A technical study on Lebanese emigration since 1975, based on a survey covering eight countries in addition to the Gulf countries;

(b) A project aiming at organizing Lebanese emigration and establishing regular contact between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Lebanese emigrants, especially the highly skilled and entrepreneurs, in order to facilitate their returning to Lebanon and/or benefit from their capabilities in the reconstruction scheme.

44. In addition to this, meetings in various sectors (water, industry, transport etc.) will be held in Lebanon before the end of the current year.

C. United Nations Children's Fund

45. The reporting period marks the first year of the new Country Programme of Cooperation (1992-1996). The end of the civil war and the positive change in the political climate in 1990 (the Taef Agreement) have provided an unprecedented opportunity to evolve beyond short-term emergency interventions and have United Nations global goals for children for the 1990s incorporated in the national plan. The programme experienced a critical shortage of supplementary funds during its first year of implementation. Out of the US$ 4 million planned as supplementary funds, the Country Programme received only $1 million during the reporting period. Expenditure from the general resources of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reached the annual planned level of US$ 1 million.

46. Although three years have passed since the cessation of armed conflict, and despite the decision of the Government of Lebanon to start reconstruction and development, conditions continue to be unfavourable for the survival and physical development of many Lebanese children. Lack of access to quality health care is a major problem. The main problems include the high cost of health services, the wide disparities in the quality of services and an anarchic market in therapeutic drugs. Moreover, the lack of adequate quantities of safe drinking water, combined with faulty waste-water management and deteriorated environmental conditions, continue to pose additional hazards to Lebanese children. Economic conditions continue to be a limiting factor for access to basic health and education services by the poorest segments of the Lebanese population, estimated at 50 per cent of the total population.

47. In the health sector, efforts have been directed towards reorganizing primary health care services, on the basis of complementarity between the public and the private sectors, thereby putting an end to duplication of work in favour of new services badly needed by the population. Greater community participation is envisaged in the planning, operation and financial support of long-term sustainable health services.

48. Two nationwide distributions of essential drugs were made in October 1992 and March 1993, each covering more than 800 governmental and non-governmental dispensaries participating in the Essential Drugs Project. A national list of essential drugs for Lebanon has been approved by the Minister of Health in October 1992.

49. In terms of child immunization, a survey conducted in February 1993 in regions with low immunization coverage revealed an improvement in some of those regions. However, increased attention needs to be directed to the areas of Akkar in the north and Hermel-Baalbeck in the Bekaa and southern Lebanon. A disease surveillance system was initiated in October 1992. No cases of poliomyelitis have been reported since the beginning of 1992. National days of immunization in April, May and June 1993 contributed to sustaining the coverage level of more than 80 per cent immunization, with the exception of measles, whose coverage still lags at 51 per cent.

50. Maternal and child health activities have increasingly focused on the promotion of breast-feeding. Efforts in this direction have culminated in commitments by 10 public and private hospitals to become baby-friendly hospitals by end-1993. In addition, an 80-hour course on lactation management was conducted for 32 physicians, midwives, nurses, instructors in health and other health personnel in April and May 1993.

51. Thirty-two projects for increasing the availability of safe drinking water in rural and peri-urban areas were implemented. Further projects were planned for this year but could not be implemented due to a shortage of funds. In June 1993 the last project financed by the Government of Germany in the Bekaa was completed, benefiting some 38 villages. Community participation in planning and implementation of water projects was ensured in the form of labour or in the form of cost-sharing. By June 1993, 12 laboratories had been set up and equipped in the various Qadas to monitor water quality. Twenty-five water technicians had been trained to run them. Six other laboratories are scheduled to be equipped by the end of 1993, but the unavailability of funds makes this an unlikely outcome.

52. In the field of education a total of 1,764 counsellors were trained in children's activities through the Education for Peace project. The number of children attending summer camps, however, fell to 34,000, as partner non-governmental organizations shifted their emphasis to children's club activities throughout the year. Training sessions began for primary school directors to introduce the concept of global education and the principles of education for peace to the formal sector. Survey and planning work completed in the area of early childhood development in 1992 will permit the launching of an innovative programme in this area in 1993.

D. United Nations Development Programme

53. For UNDP, the reporting period was highlighted by intensive discussions with the Government on the priority areas to be covered by the Third Country Programme for Lebanon, which was presented to and approved by the UNDP Governing Council in February 1993. While the Third Country Programme proposed that building national capacity for human development be the central theme, UNDP technical cooperation for 1992-1996 will concentrate on the following three areas: (a) reactivation of the public sector through support to economic management and public administration reform; (b) social reconstruction; and (c) economic revitalization through balanced development.

54. In addition to the above exercise, substantive preparatory and formulation work was undertaken, primarily to assist the Government in developing and formulating national strategies and sectoral policies through various preparatory assistance and umbrella advisory services mechanisms, as well as through one of the new support cost mechanisms - technical support services at the programme level. Several inter-agency and sectoral missions took place throughout the reporting period, the most important of these being in the areas of agriculture, education, resettlement of the displaced, statistics and labour.

55. During the review period, priority was placed on rehabilitating the Government's fiscal and economic management capacities. A comprehensive programme for fiscal reform and administration was developed for co-financing by UNDP and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is being implemented by the IMF together with the Office for Project Services and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

56. Building national capacity in technical cooperation management is both a priority and a critically important factor in the reconstruction effort, given the substantial amount of technical assistance expected to be needed in the context of the National Emergency Rehabilitation Programme. In this context, during the reporting period UNDP helped finance the establishment of a technical cooperation unit at the central level. UNDP also recently provided support to the Central Administration for Statistics, since national statistical capacities are currently extremely debilitated and reliable national statistics are a top priority for technical cooperation.

57. In the area of rehabilitating the seriously weakened public administration, UNDP initiated action as early as August 1992 with a needs assessment mission. UNDP is currently assisting the Government with implementation of phase I of an institutional rehabilitation programme outlined by the mission. In addition, at the request of the Government UNDP is preparing to field a mission from its Management Development Programme later this year. Very close coordination and cooperation is being maintained with the Government in the development of a comprehensive programme for public administration reform.

58. In the area of social reconstruction, as a first step in late 1992 UNDP assisted the Government in holding a national conference on the displaced. Further assistance has been provided for the formulation and development of socio-economic development programmes for the displaced.

59. Assistance provided by UNDP in the education sector has comprised strengthening national capacities for planning, and monitoring and implementing the education project portfolio of the National Emergency Reconstruction Programme. UNDP technical cooperation has focused on supporting strategy formulation for the education sector as well as supporting the establishment of an education sector implementation and planning unit.

60. UNDP intervention in the area of employment and enhancing job opportunities for especially disadvantaged groups and the displaced is currently being made through an ongoing project concerning accelerated technical and vocational training for adults. Five hundred adults are expected to graduate annually through the main public adult training centre with technical assistance from UNDP.

61. Finally, promotion of balanced regional development as well as the elimination of illicit crop cultivation are the objectives of a major integrated area development programme being developed for one of the most underserved areas in the Bekaa Valley - Baalbek El Hermel. The development of olive culture in southern Lebanon is a replication of a successful experience in northern Lebanon and is another UNDP activity designed to address regional imbalances.

E. United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

62. A full account of the current activities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Lebanon will be contained in the annual report of the Commissioner-General to the General Assembly covering the period 1 July 1992 to 30 June 1993. The following is a brief summary of major activities carried out on behalf of Palestine refugees in Lebanon during the period 1 June 1992 to 31 July 1993.

63. With regard to General Assembly resolution 47/155, in which the Assembly called upon all organizations and programmes of the United Nations system to take the necessary steps to ensure that their offices in Beirut be adequately staffed, it should be noted that UNRWA operations continued throughout the years of conflict in Lebanon and that senior staff, including international staff, remained on duty in the Lebanon Field Office. Field Office staff were relocated temporarily to Siblin, near Saida, and Barr Ilyas (Bar Elias) in the Bekaa during periods of heavy fighting in Beirut beginning in April 1989. Staff returned to the Beirut Office in August 1990 and it continues to be fully manned by almost 2,500 staff at all levels, including eight international staff headed by the Director.

64. Under normal circumstances, UNRWA provides services to registered Palestine refugees, who numbered 326,000 in Lebanon as at 31 March 1993. However, in view of the situation prevailing in Lebanon, the Agency has for several years extended emergency assistance to the entire Palestinian community. It has also actively participated with other United Nations organizations and international relief organizations in activities to provide assistance to the Lebanese population in general, notably by extending services to needy Lebanese living in proximity to poor Palestinians.

65. As in its other fields, UNRWA offers educational services to Palestine refugees in Lebanon within the framework of the host country's prescribed curricula and in accordance with the needs, identity and cultural heritage of Palestine refugees. In the academic year 1992/93, elementary and preparatory education was being provided to over 33,000 children by 1,187 teachers in 76 schools. Many of the school buildings are in poor condition and there is a general shortage of suitable accommodation. As a result, 44 of the schools operate on a double shift. In addition to schools, the Agency runs a vocational training centre at Siblin that provides places for more than 640 trainees and is staffed by 72 instructors. Trade and semi-professional courses are offered to young Palestinians to equip them with suitable skills to enter the job market. Thirty-nine students have received UNRWA-sponsored university scholarships.

66. The UNRWA health programme in Lebanon concentrates on primary health care, comprising curative and preventive medical care services, environmental health services in refugee camps, and nutritional assistance to pregnant and nursing mothers as well as to children under the age of three. When hospital care is required, it is provided through hospitals with which the Agency has contractual arrangements or by reimbursement of costs incurred in government hospitals. Health services are provided through a network of 26 health centres and numerous other clinics providing various forms of treatment. Over 500 staff are currently employed in the Agency's health programme in Lebanon, including 35 doctors, 104 nurses and 11 dentists. Agency clinics in Lebanon recorded over 700,000 patient visits during 1992.

67. Environmental health conditions in refugee camps as well as in the abandoned buildings and shacks inhabited by families displaced by the years of fighting have become a matter requiring immediate attention. In the absence of funding to tackle these problems in their entirety, UNRWA has begun to undertake some remedial action to rehabilitate sewage systems in refugee camps and expand them on a modest scale. During the reporting period there were environmental sanitation projects being implemented in two camps at a value of US$ 550,000. At least US$ 10.5 million is needed to improve the situation in the 12 camps. For displaced families, UNRWA has extended its environmental health services on an ad hoc basis to some sites where the situation called for urgent action, such as the abandoned Gaza and Makassad hospitals where many displaced refugees are living.

68. The UNRWA relief and social services programme in Lebanon registers refugees, determines eligibility for Agency services, handles emergency relief and facilitates longer-term social and economic improvement to refugees and their communities. Relief to the most destitute is provided through the special hardship case programme under which some 38,000 persons, comprising over 12 per cent of the refugee population, currently receive monthly rations of basic foodstuffs, cash assistance and blankets. Income generation and self-employment among special hardship cases are being encouraged by 193 grant-based projects, amounting to almost US$ 600,000. A loan-based income generation programme is also under way, with 10 projects having received US$ 88,000 in loans. Assistance to women is provided through 10 women's centres in the refugee camps, which offer training to over 850 women per year in various trades and crafts. One community-based rehabilitation centre provides assistance to disabled children.

69. Providing adequate housing for the 6,000 Palestinian families displaced by the years of fighting in Lebanon has become a matter of growing urgency as the return of relative stability has allowed the Government to turn its attention to the problem of displaced Lebanese. In recent months, many Palestine refugee families forced out of their homes by the fighting took refuge in abandoned apartment buildings and in shacks hastily constructed on property owned by Lebanese nationals. Many displaced Palestinian families have received eviction notices, requiring them to evacuate premises so that properties may be returned to their lawful owners. However, there has been no alternative housing secured for displaced Palestinians, many of whom come from the two refugee camps entirely destroyed during the war. To meet immediate needs for rehousing of only a portion of displaced families would require an estimated US$ 3.3 million. UNRWA has issued several appeals for special funds for rehousing but to date has received no donations for this purpose. Over the past year, UNRWA has been able to spend about US$ 0.5 million on assistance to the displaced. This was accomplished by reprogramming funds initially budgeted for other programmes.

70. The budget for regular UNRWA programmes for 1993 for Palestinians in Lebanon is US$ 31.5 million, of which US$ 12.1 million is for education, US$ 7.4 million for health, US$ 6.6 million for relief and social services and US$ 5.4 million for common and operational costs. In addition to its regular programme in 1993, the Agency is continuing to carry on a programme of extraordinary assistance to the needy and displaced. The budget for extraordinary measures in Lebanon for 1993 is US$ 2 million.

F. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

71. The refugee population benefiting from the protection and/or assistance of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is estimated at some 6,000 persons in Lebanon. They are mainly from Middle Eastern and African countries. In addition, a group of 1,500 stateless persons were assisted by UNHCR for many years. As a result of the reconstruction and rehabilitation process, the majority of the refugees, who are located in urban areas, are encountering increasing difficulties in finding cheap accommodations.

72. As in previous years, assistance is provided to the neediest individuals and families and includes medical services, education, counselling, repatriation and, to a lesser extent, resettlement. Moreover, UNHCR continues to emphasize the promotion of local durable solutions, such as local integration and naturalization. To this end, a legal assistance project, which aims at setting up a mechanism of cooperation between the Lebanese authorities and UNHCR on naturalization, was set up to promote the rights of stateless persons. Workshops on protection issues are being organized to promote greater awareness of the problems of refugees and stateless persons in Lebanon.

73. The UNHCR Annual Programme in Lebanon amounted to $245,500. The Special Programme amounted to $600,000 donated by the Arab Gulf Programme to UNDP for the construction of an annex building at the Islamic Charity Hospital in Tripoli. The beneficiaries of the project are essentially internally displaced persons and low-income persons impoverished by the civil war and its consequences.

G. World Food Programme

74. Food distribution by the World Food Programme (WFP) started in early January 1993 under expansion III of project 524, entitled "Feeding programme for children and youths in institutions and for vulnerable groups in maternity child health care (MCH) centres". The project duration is four years and the total cost to WFP is US$ 13.2 million. During the project's life food assistance will benefit 118,000 boarders and day-students in some 170 social institutions, 70,000 pregnant and nursing mothers and preschool children in 35 MCH centres, and 13,000 primary schoolchildren in two primary school canteens. WFP food assistance is intended to help improve the food intake of beneficiaries while they are receiving academic education and/or vocational training in social institutions; to increase the coverage, frequency and quality of prenatal and post-natal consultations for expectant and nursing mothers in MCH centres; and to alleviate short-term hunger of primary schoolchildren.

H. United Nations International Drug Control Programme

75. UNDCP undertook a fact-finding mission to Lebanon in May 1992 to assess the outcome of the Government's illicit crops eradication action undertaken in 1991 and 1992 in the Bekaa Valley as well as to evaluate the country's drug control situation as a whole. While the mission was able to verify the considerable progress achieved by the eradication action, it was clear that the Government's commitment to maintaining the ban on illicit crops could only be achieved in the long term through the development and rehabilitation of the region in question.

76. In this context, an Inter-agency Illicit Crops Mission composed of representatives from UNDCP, FAO, UNDP and ESCWA was fielded to Lebanon from 3 to 19 October 1992 to assess the needs of the region and formulate the outlines of an integrated area development programme for the Baalbek and Hermel districts, which are the most affected by illicit cultivation.

77. This Mission, as well as proposed UNDCP assistance in demand reduction, control of licit trade in narcotic and psychotropic substances, drug law enforcement and legal fields, were the subject of discussion during a UNDCP-sponsored technical consultation, which was held in Beirut on 20-21 October 1992. The consultation was attended by officials from the Lebanese ministries, bilateral and multilateral donors, non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies and observers from neighbouring countries, with the aim of ensuring that drug control is reflected in the various development and rehabilitation activities currently under way in the country.

78. In line with the recommendations of the technical consultation, two programmes have been elaborated and are currently being implemented:

(a) A four-month preparatory assistance project (April-July 1993) to initiate the first phase of the integrated area development programme, which will be implemented during 1993 and 1994 by UNDCP and UNDP in collaboration with FAO, the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. Preparatory assistance amounts to US$ 206,000 and involves the completion of studies in the fields of agricultural marketing and agro-processing, agricultural credit, non-agricultural income-generating activities and environmental assessment;

(b) A two-year UNDCP multisectoral drug control assistance project aimed at strengthening the country's overall drug control capacity. The project amounts to US$ 1,129,322 and involves the provision of technical expertise, operationally oriented training and technical equipment to strengthen the national legal and institutional framework for drug control as well as assess the extent of drug abuse and the capacity of governmental institutions and local non-governmental organizations to undertake treatment and rehabilitation programmes. In line with envisaged assistance, a UNDCP legal mission was undertaken to assist the Government in the elaboration of new anti-drug legislation in compliance with United Nations Conventions and a training course in drug law enforcement was administered for 20 Lebanese and Syrian police and customs officers during May 1993. Research activities in demand reduction will be initiated in July 1993.

I. International Labour Organization

79. The International Labour Organization (ILO) carried out a multidisciplinary mission to Lebanon with a view to assessing technical assistance needs and formulating project proposals in the fields of manpower planning and labour market information, cooperatives, small enterprise development, labour administration, labour statistics, social security and employers' and workers' activities. Five project proposals were formulated and submitted to Government authorities.

80. A UNDP-funded project entitled "Rehabilitation and development of accelerated training programme" was officially approved during the period under review. The necessary preparation for the project implementation was made with respect to this activity.

81. The ILO assisted the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers in conducting two national seminars on the activities of trade unions and a study on wages.

82. Lebanon was invited to participate in three regional seminars organized jointly by the ILO and the Arab Labour Organization covering the following subjects: the role of media in the promotion of dialogue between social partners; international and Arab labour standards; and employment policies and prospects in the Arab region.

83. Ad hoc technical advisory missions were undertaken in the fields of vocational training, hotel and tourism, labour market information and manpower planning.

84. Finally, the ILO and the concerned authorities in Lebanon intensified consultations to finalize the arrangements for reopening the ILO Regional Office for Arab States in Beirut.

J. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

85. During the current reporting period, FAO has continued to reinforce its previous activities as well as initiate new ones. The FAO field programme in Lebanon consists of 12 projects with a total cost of about US$ 3.3 million, as follows:

(a) Five projects costed at US$ 1,829,000, financed by UNDP;

(b) Five projects costed at US$ 775,000, financed by the FAO Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP);

(c) Three projects costed at US$ 730,000, financed by the FAO Trust Fund Programme.

86. The programme is well diversified and covers the following fields: rehabilitation and reactivation of the Ministry of Agriculture, agricultural planning, eradication of illicit crops, food quality control, forestry, fisheries, seeds, olives and animal health.

87. In the field of rehabilitation and reactivation of the Ministry of Agriculture, there are four projects. They consist of two UNDP projects costed at US$ 527,000, one Trust Fund project costed at US$ 155,000 and one TCP project costed at US$ 297,000. FAO is helping to enhance the effectiveness of the services of the Ministry of Agriculture and to this end is facilitating the reorganization and restructuring of the Ministry. The staff in the Ministry are receiving additional training both on the job and abroad. National and international consultants were recruited to draw up a phased programme for the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector in Lebanon, with particular emphasis on irrigation, rural development and investment strategy.

88. Urgently needed equipment and appropriate additional training will continue to be provided in order to reactivate the proper functioning of the various services in the Ministry. In this connection FAO is currently actively negotiating with one of its Trust Fund donors for the approval of a project to provide urgently required additional technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture, so as to further enhance its capacity.

89. FAO recently approved a project entitled "Assistance to planning and analysis of agricultural projects", with a total cost of US$ 225,000, under the Near East Cooperative Programme. It aims to further strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture in the field of planning and preparation, implementation and evaluation of development projects and programmes through the provision of consultants and essential equipment.

90. The FAO/UNDP project "Reinforcement of food hygiene control", for products of animal origin, costed at US$ 679,000, has helped establish an Inter-Ministerial Committee to draw up appropriate quality standards of foodstuffs of animal origin and to reinforce the control of animal diseases and zoonosis in the production of meat, milk and milk products. Under its TCP project "Assistance for rinderpest control" (US$ 178,000), FAO undertook a massive rinderpest vaccination campaign of cattle; the animal health surveillance of the Government is being strengthened to help assess the level of protection achieved.

91. In order to complement activities undertaken in the northern part of Lebanon, the FAO/UNDP project "Olive culture in southern Lebanon", costed at US$ 584,000, aims at increasing the production and productivity of olive trees and raising the income of producers in the southern part of the country. Under this project, olive production is envisaged to increase and average production per tree to almost double. National olive output is targeted to reach 20,000 tons by the year 2000.

92. Under its TCP project "Assistance to forestry", costed at US$ 155,000, FAO is assisting reafforestation activities in the country by providing cartography of suitable reforestation sites for cedar plantation. A large-scale forestry department project has been formulated and this has been presented to potential donors for funding.

93. Under its TCP project "Rehabilitation of seed processing", costed at US$ 123,000, FAO is assisting in the installation and operation of a seed-processing plant, which had earlier been purchased under an FAO/UNDP project. Under this project FAO has also formulated a larger-scale technical assistance seed project, for about US$ 500,000, which has been submitted to a potential donor for its financing.

94. FAO fielded a TCP consultancy mission to review and assess the needs of the fishery sector. As a result, a project composed of a rehabilitation component and a fishery development and extension component with a total cost of US$ 2 million has been prepared. An FAO Trust Fund project for the urgent provision of fishing gear and equipment to fishermen cooperatives, costed at US$ 350,000, has just been approved for financing.

K. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

95. During the reporting period the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) substantially increased its assistance to Lebanon, both in terms of contribution from the Participation Programme and in terms of projects.

96. Through the Participation Programme, UNESCO assisted development activities in Lebanon to an amount of US$ 95,000, distributed as follows: US$ 50,000 in the education sector, US$ 15,000 in the natural sciences sector, US$ 25,000 in the field of cultural heritage and museology, the remaining in other fields.

97. UNESCO also contributed to the reconstruction of Lebanon in the preparation of sectoral or subsectoral programmes, in the preparation and launching of projects and in the organization of external contributions for specific cases.

98. In the education sector, UNESCO, in cooperation with UNDP, prepared a programme approach and project proposals for the immediate rehabilitation of the sector. It contributed also to the preparation of the Sector Implementation Unit of Education and to its negotiation with the Government together with UNDP. The first phase of a large-scale in-depth human resources sector analysis, funded by UNDP, has been completed in May 1993. A second more detailed phase covering all aspects of the human resources field in Lebanon is expected to start in the coming months.

99. In town planning and cultural heritage, UNESCO has assisted the Lebanese authorities in setting rules and procedures for the management of the archaeological heritage of Beirut within its reconstruction plan. UNDP has agreed to contribute the amount of US$ 300,000 to a project (LEB/92/008 - Réhabilitation de la direction générale des antiquités et soutien à la reconstruction du Centre-Ville de Beyrouth), which will cover most of the town planning and cultural fields of cooperation. Within the framework of this project, the contribution of third parties has been secured: the Hariri Foundation of Lebanon (US$ 1,000,000), the town of Marseille in France has offered computer services and training for the National Museum of Lebanon (US$ 125,000), the Conseil régional d'Ile de France is providing the services of its archaeologist (US$ 65,000), the Institut français d'archéologie du Proche-Orient has offered a team of archaeologists for the excavations in Beirut (US$ 30,000 per annum). For its part, UNESCO has offered computer equipment to the National Museum of Lebanon (US$ 10,000) and funded two missions of specialists for the historical centres of Saïda and Tripoli.

100. Finally, negotiations are progressing about the creation of an International Centre for Humanities and Development in the city of Byblos, based on an agreement signed between Lebanon and UNESCO before the hostilities (1973).

L. World Health Organization

101. WHO assistance to Lebanon for the biennium 1992-1993 amounts to US$ 1,402,200 from its regular budget. WHO also is the main source of assistance to the National Acquired Immunodeficiency Disease Syndrome (AIDS) Programme. WHO financial support exceeded US$ 100,000 from extrabudgetary funds.

102. Despite the disruption of the situation in Lebanon, WHO was able, through its Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO), to implement the following activities during the period 1 June 1992 to 24 June 1993 (total obligations for this period: US$ 659,538).

1. Consultants

103. A total of six short-term consultants (STCs) have been fielded to Lebanon as follows:

(a) A one-month STC (July 1992) under the Environmental Health Programme reviewed the environmental health aspects of the country;

(b) A two-week STC (February 1993) on clinical, laboratory and radiological technology for health systems based on primary health care performed situation analysis of blood transfusion action for improvement of related services at the national level. WHO support will be needed at every stage of the development of the plan. Following this visit, a three-week STC (May 1993) assessed the situation of health laboratory services and defined functions and future activities of the Central Public Health Laboratory and other governmental health laboratories;

(c) A two-week STC (April 1993) under the Nutrition Programme performed a situation analysis based on a review of health sector records (private and public) for the issue of iodine deficiency disease (IDD); assisted in designing a national survey for IDD in school-age children; and assisted in training of survey teams on IDD assessment (goitre classification);

(d) A three-month STC (April 1993) under the Primary Health Care Programme assisted in elaborating a strategy plan of action for the PHC programme;

(e) A two-week STC (June 1993) under the Global Programme on AIDS visited the country to assist in strengthening AIDS/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) surveillance and to train nationals on HIV surveillance.

104. In the near future and under the Health Situation and Trend Assessment Programme, an STC is scheduled to visit Lebanon to assist in the elaboration of a national health information system. Another STC, under the Nursing Programme, is planned to develop a plan of action to assess the situation of medical health personnel. Also, an STC is being recruited to formulate a protocol for tuberculosis survey under the Disease Prevention and Control Programme. WHO support is being provided for field training and execution of a survey for tuberculosis assessment in the country.

2. Supplies and equipment

105. Medical supplies, including essential drugs, microscopes, computers, printers and refrigerators, have been supplied to Lebanon at a cost of US$ 60,886 (from regular budget) and US$ 10,370 (from voluntary funds).

3. Fellowships

106. One candidate has been offered a one-month fellowship (from 7 June to 2 July 1993) in Paris, on the economic evaluation of health.

4. Training activities

107. Several training courses for community health workers were held, as follows:

(a) Aley, 15-20 October 1992;

(b) Akkar, 10 November 1992-10 February 1993;

(c) Baalbek, 17 August-17 November 1992;

(d) Akkar, 3 September-3 November 1992;

(e) Chouweifat, 7 September-7 December 1992;

(f) Batroun, March-May 1992;

(g) Training course on operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of water and sanitation systems, 24-26 May 1993;

(h) Training course on solid waste management, 22-25 March 1993.

108. In addition to the above, several visits were paid by EMRO regional advisers, namely:

(a) A regional adviser on pharmaceutical, diagnostic and therapeutic substances reviewed the drug situation in July 1992 and a national plan was proposed comprising reorganization of drug management at the Ministry of Health as a first and essential step towards the establishment of a national drug policy;

(b) A regional adviser of the expanded Programme on Immunization visited the country in July 1992 to assess the status of the Programme and future need for WHO collaboration. It was found that the Programme had made remarkable achievement in spite of existing constraints. WHO support will be used for training courses and workshops on epidemiological surveillance with the technical assistance of an STC;

(c) A regional adviser on the control of diarrhoeal diseases (CDD) visited Lebanon in August 1992 to assist with revision of the National CDD Plan of Action;

(d) A regional adviser on maternal and child health (MCH)/family planning (FP) visited the country from 9 to 16 October 1992 to assist in developing a project proposal incorporating MCH/FP service, to be implemented by the Ministry of Health and the Lebanon Family Planning Association;

(e) A regional adviser on health laboratory services visited Lebanon in February 1993 to assist in situation analysis of blood transfusion services and the development of a plan of action for improvement of related services at the national level;

(f) A regional adviser on nursing participated in March 1993 in the planning and design of the overall study of human resources for health. A plan of action for assessing the nursing and paramedical sector was prepared;

(g) A regional adviser on non-communicable diseases visited Lebanon in May 1993 to advise on the programme on childhood diabetes and thalassaemia and to review the cancer and cardiovascular disease prevention programmes.

M. United Nations Industrial Development Organization

109. During the period under review the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) was requested to provide, within the framework of the Priority Rehabilitation Programme (umbrella project DP/LEB/92/001), a high-level consultant for a duration of two months with the objective of advising the Government on the development of an industrial strategy. The consultant will elaborate a framework for an industrial strategy, define objectives and priorities, and identify issues, prerequisites and policy options for the implementation of the strategy at the macro- and micro-levels of the industrial sector.

110. In March 1993 UNIDO fielded a mission to Lebanon with the specific purpose of reviewing and assessing the priority of multidisciplinary projects identified during the United Nations Inter-agency Needs Assessment Mission and endorsed by UNDP New York in its final report. Priority projects include the following: (a) industrial survey; (b) establishment of an industrial information centre; (c) products adaptation for export promotion to countries of the European Community; (d) rehabilitation of industry institute; (e) identification of industrial investment projects; (f) establishment of an industry bank; (g) energy conservation in industry: advisory services; (h) technical assistance for the rehabilitation of the Tripoli Oil Installation (refinery). During the UNIDO mission the Government confirmed the validity of all the above projects, with the exception of project (h). UNIDO will be ready to field project formulation missions on the preparation of project documents for all the above projects upon receipt of official government requests. Funding possibilities for the projects are being explored.

111. During the mission, further technical cooperation activities in the industrial sector were identified in such fields as processing and packaging standards in the food industries; industrial pollution; expansion of networking capabilities and access to various international industrial databases, including UNIDO's Industrial and Technological Data Bank; and development of national expertise and know-how in fields of high technology, which could enable Lebanon's export industry to compete with European countries and other countries in the region. UNIDO is awaiting official government requests for the above activities.

N. World Bank

112. During the period under review the World Bank completed the preparation and appraisal of the Emergency Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Project. Negotiations for a $175 million Bank loan for this project took place in January 1993 and the loan was approved by the Bank's Board of Executive Directors on 4 March and signed on 8 March 1993. The Bank's Project forms part of a broader National Emergency Recovery Programme that envisages outlays of $2.3 billion over the 1993-1996 period for reconstruction of physical and social infrastructure and related technical assistance. The Bank's loan will finance high priority emergency reconstruction in the electricity, water, waste water and solid waste, and education sectors, as well as provide credit for housing and technical assistance. A project launch mission took place in April 1993. The Bank stands ready to help the Government of Lebanon mobilize the external resources required for the financing of its reconstruction programme, including the convening of a consultative group meeting as a follow-up to the December 1991 donors' meeting as soon as conditions are such that there are good prospects for a successful meeting.

113. In March 1993 the Bank completed a country economic memorandum based on the findings of economic missions that visited Lebanon in April/May and October 1992. The report, entitled "Lebanon - stabilization and reconstruction", reviews recent economic developments, discusses key economic policy issues and outlines a macroeconomic framework for stabilization and reconstruction. A Bank economic mission visited Lebanon in May 1993 in parallel with an IMF article 4 consultations mission.

114. During the period under review, the Bank has initiated project and sector work in preparation for possible future lending to Lebanon. These included: (a) missions to identify and prepare a technical assistance project for the strengthening of economic management and public administration; (b) a mission to identify an irrigation rehabilitation project; and (c) a mission to review human resources sectors and identify an education project. A further mission for the above-mentioned technical assistance project, which is being prepared in close collaboration with UNDP, is scheduled for July 1993.

115. There were several visits of Bank senior management during the period under review. These visits laid the basis for the active relationship between the Bank and Lebanon that is currently being developed. A proposal is being prepared for the initiation of a regular assistance programme to Lebanon starting in the 1994 fiscal year (starting 1 July 1993).

O. International Monetary Fund

116. Technical assistance and activities of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the period under review consisted of the following:


DateIMF departmentActivity/purpose
7-17 October 1992Middle Eastern Department (MED)Policy discussions
20 October - 2 November 1992Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD)Reform of customs
FAD tariff system
25 January - 13 February 1993FADFinalization of
customs tariff reform
8-30 February 1993FADPublic expenditure management
7-11 February 1993ResearchAdvice on monetary policy
12-24 April 1993IMF InstituteCourse on financial programming
3-14 May 1993Monetary and Exchange AffairsReorganizatioan of the central bank
19-28 May 1993MEDArticle IV consultations




IV. CONCLUSIONS

117. The Government of Lebanon has during the review period completed most of its preparations for the comprehensive reconstruction of the country. Emergency and priority rehabilitation projects in key public infrastructure and services sectors have begun to be implemented. The further strengthening and consolidation of national authority and the strides made towards economic stabilization have contributed to building increased donor confidence, leading to considerable initial pledges and commitments towards financing projects of the National Emergency Rehabilitation Programme. Unfortunately, the situation in south Lebanon remains tense and unstable and affects progress in reconstruction. The short-term prospects for reconstruction are nevertheless promising, particularly if the Government succeeds in fully drawing the private sector and Lebanese expatriates into the national reconstruction effort.

118. The Secretary-General is determined that the United Nations system continue to play a significant role in support of national objectives and programmes of reconstruction. The catalytic role of United Nations system assistance is valuable and generally well appreciated. Well-targeted programme and project assistance is designed to support policy-making, rebuild capacity, initiate reform, and mobilize other donors for subsequent, larger programmes requiring more ample resources. It is planned to intensify United Nations activities in Lebanon and resources will therefore have to be mobilized, in particular for making available increased technical assistance for policy-making and national capacity-building. It is suggested that, during the year ahead, UNARDOL focus on supporting Government efforts towards mobilizing official and private resources for reconstruction and development.


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