Beirut, 25 August 2021 – In an effort to support their communities, representatives of municipalities and Unions of Municipalities presented proposals and sought funding for local economic development and basic service projects, that they developed as part of an activity launched by the Municipal Empowerment and Resilience Project (MERP). MERP is a joint initiative implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and funded through the European Union (EU). 

Municipalities and Unions of Municipalities representatives from the Urban Community Al-Fayhaa, the Federation of Municipalities of the Northern and Coastal Matn and the Union of Tyre Municipalities, presented their proposals to development partners, funding agencies, as well as to their communities and the wider public through a live broadcast.

In the development of the proposals, the 17 municipalities and two unions collaborated with youth and civil society and participated in extensive online training and coaching sessions on proposal development, organized by the Renée Mouawad Foundation, the implementing partner for this activity. This approach led to the development of technical skills necessary to develop strong proposals for future projects that could attract external funding.

“While a key objective of MERP is to implement basic service and local economic development projects that benefit communities, such as projects that focus on solar farms or the establishment of agricultural markets, we do this by empowering municipalities and provide them with the capacity and tools needed to support their communities, not only now but also in the future. Our approach shows that with a little support, municipalities and unions are very capable to develop high quality proposals for projects that support their communities and that they are highly committed to do so.” said Marija De Wijn, MERP’s Chief Technical Advisor.

“Today was an important opportunity for the 19 municipalities and unions of municipalities to present proposals for basic services and local economic development, in order to secure funding under the Municipal Empowerment and Resilience Project (MERP) as well as through other donors” said Gianandrea Villa, Local Governance Officer at the EU Delegation in Lebanon.

As a next step, MERP will support the development and implementation of eight municipal projects and two unions projects by 2022. Additionally, MERP aims to support non selected projects to secure support through other funding partners through the Municipal Fair. 


For more information please contact: 

Joelle El Dib, Communication Manager, at, mobile 03986615

Aline Kiwan, Media and Communication Officer, at, mobile 03-294070

Note to editors

About the Municipal Empowerment and Resilience Project (MERP)

MERP is a joint project by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). The Project is being implemented between 2019 and 2022 in partnership with the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities (MoIM) and funded by the European Union (EU), through its Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the EU “Madad Fund”. The project aims to strengthen the long-term resilience of subnational authorities in Lebanon as well as host communities and displaced persons affected by the Syrian crisis. Learn more at

About the European Union (EU)

The European Union supports Lebanon’s stability, independence and sovereignty, its prosperity and democratic order. It strives also to help protect its environment and natural resources by supporting sustainable enterprise and development. The European Union is also committed to the promotion and protection of human rights in Lebanon including defending gender equality, children’s rights and freedom of expression.

The EU Delegation in Lebanon represents the European Union to the Republic of Lebanon with the objective to maintain and develop mutual beneficial relations. It engages in political, social and economic development activities on behalf of the European Union and based on the most pressing needs of the country of Lebanon.

Learn more on the work of the EU in Lebanon or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @EUinLebanon

Learn more on the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the EU Madad Fund, or follow on Twitter at @EU_NEAR, on Facebook at EU Neighbourhood & Enlargement and on Instagram at EU_NEAR

About the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet.

Learn more at or follow on Twitter at @UNDP_Lebanon, on Facebook at UNDP Lebanon and on Instagram at UNDP_Lebanon

About the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements for a better urban future. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a dedicated Goal on cities, SDG 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Learn more at or follow on Twitter at @UNHabitatLB, on Facebook at UN-Habitat Lebanon and on Instagram at UNHabitatLB

About the René Moawad Foundation (RMF)

The René Moawad Foundation (RMF) is a Lebanese non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organization that was established on November 22, 1991. RMF’s mission is to promote social, economic and rural development in Lebanon and the MENA region and contribute in building a responsible civil society that promotes democratic values, justice, pluralism and moderation. As one of the largest NGOs working all over Lebanon, RMF empowers the human being both intellectually and financially through 5 core sectors: education and human development, health and social care, economic development, agriculture and rural development, local authorities and decentralization, to guarantee their dignity and basic rights, and to build their capacities as responsible citizens. Learn more about RMF at or follow on Facebook @renemoawadfoundationlb, on twitter @RMFLebanon, on Instagram at renemoawadfoundation.

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