Minister Hakim launched an LRF-funded initiative for the Lebanese communities hosting Syrian refugees

31 Mar 2014

imageundp lebanon - minister hakim with participating members at the LRF Steering Committee

The Minister of Economy and Trade Dr. Alain Hakim headed the Steering Committee of Lebanon Recovery Fund (LRF) meeting in the Grand Serail in the presence of the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Ross Mountain, Director General of the Ministry of Finance and its representative, Alain Bifany, Spain's Ambassador, Milagros Hernando, Chairman of the Council for Development and Reconstruction, Eng. Nabil El-Jisr in addition to a number of experts.

The attendees discussed the projects submitted by the United Nations Development Programme , which target the incubator environment for Syrian refugees.

A press conference held after the meeting, Minister Hakim launched an initiative for the Lebanese communities hosting Syrian refugees funded by Lebanon Recovery Fund, a Lebanese program that stemmed from the Stockholm Conference.

The LRF was established by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) following the Stockholm Conference held on 31 August, 2006 in support of Lebanon’s recovery. The UNDP Multi-Donor Trust Fund Office (MDTF Office) serves as the Administrative Agent. It resulted from the request of the Government of Lebanon to devise a pooled funding facility that would channel donor resources for the financing of priority recovery and reconstruction activities approved by the Government and that can be executed with the support of United Nations organizations, in partnership with government and non-governmental organizations, within the scope and time frame of national priorities. The Steering Committee is chaired by the Minister of Economy and Trade and composed of the Head of the Recovery and Reconstruction Cell (RRC), a representative from the Ministry of Finance, representatives of donors (the European Commission, the State of Kuwait, the Kingdom of Spain and the United Arab Emirates) and the United Nations Resident Coordinator.

Minister Alain Hakim initiated his press conference by saying: “First of all, I would like to express my gratitude and thanks for the Federal Republic of Germany and for all donor States that helped and are still helping Lebanon to fulfill its humanitarian duty in hosting the Syrian refugees in spite of the economic, financial and social hardships that the Lebanese are reeling from because of the burden of the crisis.”

He stated: “The initiative estimated at about USD 5 million and triggered today by the government for host communities comes in light of the exacerbation of the Syrian humanitarian disaster with all its negative repercussions in particular the economic, social and security ones. In fact, the issue of the Syrian refugees, which resulted from the dangerous events sweeping Syria,  has become the primary concern of the Lebanese State, civil societies and international organizations that have combined their efforts to save those refugees, shelter them and provide them with the humanitarian, social, health and educational services they need.”

Minister Hakim asserted: “No one can deny that the Syrian crisis is increasingly affecting the Lebanese communities. This burden was shouldered by the Lebanese regions that are the least able to deal with the growing pressure and relatively suffering from extreme poverty, low wages, lack of environmental infrastructure and poor social services. The Lebanese government must directly and urgently assume its responsibility to meet the humanitarian and moral obligations towards refugees and host communities with a view to supporting its societal security and overcoming the crisis. However, the response to this crisis requires cooperation among the various relevant ministries, bodies and countries supporting to share the responsibilities, coordinate to enhance the livelihood and support communities hosting these refugees.”

Mr. Ross Mountain said “With over a million refugees from Syria in Lebanon and the prospect of a protracted crisis, similar initiatives that aim to support both the Lebanese host communities and the Syrian refugees are needed to help Lebanon overcome this challenge and mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis on the region.

I wish this project success in extending sorely needed help to several of the most vulnerable Lebanese host communities. I urge the international community to support more projects like these to safeguard Lebanon’s economic and social stability against the impacts of the Syrian conflict.