ART GOLD LEBANON
In Lebanon, empowering local communities needs to be at the center of development. The country has long suffered the effects of war, instability and the resulting increase in poverty and regional disparities. This has considerably weakened the population nationwide while impacting more broadly the marginalized and most vulnerable groups of youth and women.
With the objective to transform local communities including municipal authorities and civil society to become actively engaged in the development of their regions, UNDP launched in March 2007 the ART GOLD programme - Articulating Territorial and Thematic Networks for Human Development. The programme covers the four neediest areas of the country: North Lebanon, South Lebanon, Bekaa and Beirut Southern Suburbs. Its national counterpart is the Council for Development and Reconstruction.
ART GOLD Lebanon, part of the Global ART initiative, aims to empower local authorities and local communities to participate in the planning and implementation of development processes, namely, through three main pillars:
(i) The participatory approach ensured by the Working Groups:
The programme facilitates the formation of working groups that bring all stakeholders in the community to work together and engage in a dialogue process aimed at identifying local development needs. Based on those needs, programme interventions and activities are further elaborated.
(ii) The support of the Decentralized Cooperation:
ART GOLD Lebanon embraces an approach that focuses on linking communities together to develop skills, and share experience and best practices. This is facilitated through partnerships between Lebanese and European regions of Italy, Spain, and Belgium.
(iii) The Local Economic Development through the LEDAs:
In pursuit of pulling out communities from the social and economic margins of the country, ART GOLD Lebanon supports the establishment of Local Economic Development Agencies (LEDAs) in each of the four regions of interventions. These agencies help small and medium enterprises, cooperatives, youth and women through the provision of technical assistance and facilitating access to credit.
Achievements & Expected Results
Since its inception, the total budget for UNDP-ART GOLD Lebanon has exceeded USD $11 Million through the contributions of Monaco, the governments of Spain, Italy and Belgium in addition to the Decentralized Cooperation partners.
UNDP-ART GOLD Lebanon has supported more than 100 Local Authorities, set up 35 “Regional” and “Thematic” working groups and completed nearly 200 projects across numerous sectors, including agriculture, environment, health, education governance and local economic development benefiting many thousands of people. Over 150,000 people have benefited from an enhanced access to public health care services, some 40,000 youths have engaged in economic activity, approximately 2,000 farmers have received technical assistance and around 954 newly elected mayors and municipal council members have undergone training on governance issues. Also, in the framework of environmental protection activities, entire communities can enjoy the benefits of reforestation as more than 350,000 trees have been planted so far.
-Enhance the preservation of the Environment: towards an integrated water and solid waste management and increase in the use of renewable energy, while expanding green coverage.
-Increase income generation and job opportunities focusing on women and youth groups in agro industry (milk, beekeeping, fruit and vegetables, and fishing), eco-tourism and small scale enterprises (shoe making, pottery, glass industry).
-Increase access to quality social services with focus on Primary Health Care and education.
-Enhance the social integration and dialogue among youth within the different regions.
-Improve the capacities and skills of local communities to better contribute to development efforts within their territories.