About us

UNDP in Lebanon

Who we are

UNDP is the UN's global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 177 countries and territories, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.

Voices around the world demanded leadership on poverty, inequality and climate change. To turn these demands into actions, world leaders gathered on 25 September, 2015, at the United Nations in New York and adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The 2030 Agenda comprises 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or Global Goals, which will guide policy and funding for the next 15 years, beginning with a historic pledge to end poverty. Everywhere. Permanently.

The concept of the SDGs was born at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, in 2012. The objective was to produce a set of universally applicable goals that balances the three dimensions of sustainable development: environmental, social, and economic.

The Global Goals replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which in September 2000 rallied the world around a common 15-year agenda to tackle the indignity of poverty.

The MDGs established measurable, universally-agreed objectives for eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, preventing deadly but treatable disease, and expanding educational opportunities to all children, among other development imperatives.

With the job unfinished for millions of people—we need to go the last mile on ending hunger, achieving full gender equality, improving health services and getting every child into school. Now we must shift the world onto a sustainable path. The Global Goals aim to do just that, with 2030 as the target date.

This new development agenda applies to all countries, promotes peaceful and inclusive societies, creates better jobs and tackles the environmental challenges of our time—particularly climate change. Later this year world leaders are expected to reach a global agreement on climate change at the Paris Climate Conference.

The Global Goals must finish the job that the MDGs started, and leave no one behind.

What do we want to accomplish?

UNDP has been operational in Lebanon for nearly five decades, since 1960. Its presence in the country has been continuous in the best of times and in the worst of times, in times of war and peace. The period immediately following the Lebanese Civil War which had raged since 1975 until 1990 and which was superimposed by further invasions and military occupation, was a period of transition for the country as well as for UNDP.
As an organization, we have had to continually evolve in orientation and coverage to help in the identification of national needs and priorities in an often rapidly changing development and security setting in order to support the achievement of long-term development objectives. UNDP strives to reflect the ability and resilience of the Lebanese to adapt to continuing development challenges.

2006 in particular was a unique year, as significant resources were programmed in the early recovery and post-conflict portfolio, becoming the largest UNDP programme. This programme delivered significant results in the areas of physical reconstruction and recovery of livelihoods in 2007, many of which will be completed in 2008.
In partnership with the government of Lebanon and its partners in development, UNDP upholds a number of principles in our work:

  1. National ownership & partnerships: We strive to enhance national decision-making capacity for human development by developing modern institutions that can effectively support private sector development and national growth. This includes partnerships with the vibrant Lebanese civil society to implement national development initiatives in a broad-based and participatory manner.
  2. Rights: UNDP promotes the implementation of the rights-based-approach to development through the promotion of equity, with a focus on poverty, productive employment and the reduction of disparities between regions and groups.
  3. Accountability: We aim to ensure that UNDP-supported initiatives in Lebanon demonstrate transparency and fairness, following international standards of excellence in our advisory services, programme design and implementation, including recruitment and procurement.

Who are the decision makers?

The Resident Representative of UNDP Lebanon is officially accredited to the country and represents the highest level of accountability of the UNDP in Lebanon. The Representative delegates authority to various levels of management such as the Country Director and Deputy Resident Representative. Decisions in the office are made by various bodies in UNDP, including the Management Group for setting the direction of the UNDP programme priorities, and the Programme and Operations Groups focusing respectively on project management and financial and human resources.
New projects and programmes are developed between these groups under the leadership of the UNDP Representative together with relevant government counterparts.

UNDP in Lebanon works closely with the Council of Reconstruction and Development, a public authority established in early 1977 partially to replace the Ministry of Planning. This close collaboration has been imperative in taking decisions in a timely and efficient manner. While the CDR became the entity responsible for reconstruction and development, its role has evolved to include initiatives that address social and economic issues, and has therefore become the de facto government counterpart of UNDP. Projects and programmes are developed in close consultation with the CDR as well as the relevant line Ministries and departments involved in the initiative.
The UNDP office and the government are not the only decision-makers as regards the nature and direction of the work of the UNDP in the country. Donors play a key role in supporting the development activities, with financing and material support. Programme reviews are held on a six-monthly basis that brings together the government, UNDP, and the donor to discuss progress towards development results, also known as Tripartite Review meetings.



5.9 million



Poverty Rate


GNI per capita


HDI (2016)

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