UNDP and the EU support the Lebanese Army at the North-Eastern border through sustainable energy solutions

November 10, 2022

Beirut, 10 November 2022: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with funds from the European Union (EU) have worked since 2019 to strengthen the operations of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in the North-Eastern border region of Lebanon as well as cater to their wellbeing through the provision of sustainable energy solutions that increase the LAF’s energy autonomy in the region and shift the LAF into a climate-friendly and more sustainable institution.

Lebanon is facing a multi-layered crisis causing immense hardship on the majority of the population including civil servants and armed forces personnel. In particular, the country’s energy crisis has put at risk the daily operations of the majority of public institutions and functions, one of them being the LAF’s border security. Power shortages in the North-Eastern border region meant that the LAF had to depend on expensive diesel to operate genertors so that outposts and barracks could be lit, affecting also personnel’s access to hot water and to heating solutions.

Through renewable energy applications of 24 PV and micro-wind, 38 solar hot water systems, 35 biomass heating systems, 200 solar street lighting poles, 220 fence lighting, 254 lighting solutions, and 2 retro-fitted barracks ; UNDP was able to reduce the electricity and fuel consumption as well as noise interferences in the duty stations and provide a clean source of energy supply to assist in meeting the needs of the station, personnel, and surrounding communities. This package of renewable energy solutions saved around 300,000 USD in energy costs  and more than 630 tCO2 emissions per year making this an economical and climate-friendly intervention. Additionally, apart from the installations in 31 different locations, there has been a transfer of knowledge on renewable energy and energy efficiency applications through capacity building and training programs to the Lebanese Army personnel.

The LAF’s commitment to climate action was expressed through their Sustainable Energy Strategy published in 2017, as part of Lebanon’s national Climate Change Commitments., It is a testament to the army’s dedication to contribute to fighting climate change through shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The strategy defined the LAF baseline and mirrored the government’s target for 2030, which mentions that  20% of the electrical & thermal demand must come from renewable energy sources and 10% of reduction in energy demand must take place.

“The Sustainable Energy for Security project is part of the LAF’s priorities within the framework of its missions, which are not limited to military and security aspects only, but to environmental security as well.

This funding is of great importance because it supports the LAF’s efforts to monitor and control borders, and we look forward to more collaborations with UNDP and the EU to implement further projects that serve our common interests”. Deputy Chief of Staff for Equipment, Brigadier General Pilot Ziad Haikal, representing the Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun.

With support from the European Union, UNDP was able to work directly with the LAF to implement key recommendations of the army’s Sustainable Energy Strategy including (1) a reduction in energy consumption and the (2) integration of renewable energy into the existing energy mix for both electricity and thermal energy demand in one particular regiment – the 2nd Land Border Regiment where the Lebanese Armed Forces were deployed after the 2017 war with ISIS.

“The multi-faceted crisis in Lebanon is having a disruptive effect on the country’s overall security. Against all odds, the Lebanese Armed Forces continue to operate and ensure the security of Lebanon and its citizens. I am pleased to see how the assistance of the European Union has helped diversify energy sources for the military installations as how this minimises the energy bill of the army. This in turn contributes to maintaining its readiness to prevent, counter and respond to security threats at any time”  Alessandra Viezzer, EU Head of Cooperation.

“As the world leaders are gathering in Egypt for United Nations Climate Change Conference, I’m very pleased that here in Lebanon a large institution, such as the Lebanese Armed Forces, is championing the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. This project shows that investing in clean energy is not only the right thing to do for the environment. It also saves on energy costs and is a reliable energy source during the electricity crisis Lebanon is facing at the moment. UNDP considers the integration of environmental and climate considerations into Lebanon’s response to the crisis across all sectors a priority for a grean and sustainable recovery for all people in Lebanon. ”  Melanie Hauenstein, UNDP Resident Representative.

Since 2004, the EU has been a major partner and supporter of UNDP’s work in Lebanon and worldwide, currently working together in nearly 140 countries. Our partnership is making a difference in the lives of millions, including the most vulnerable. Together, we have been working in Lebanon on electoral assistance, support to municipalities, advancing the anti-corruption agenda, and scaling up on climate action.

UNDP is working in Lebanon since 1986 as a development partner supporting economic recovery, including working with municipalities to deliver basic services to host communities, promoting clean energy and solid waste management, strengthening governance and rule of law, providing support to elections, and working on empowering women and youth.

For more information, please contact

In UNDP – Lebanon         |  Rana Moughabghab       | rana.moughabghab@undp.org   |  +961 3 835 351

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 planet.