UNDP and the Lebanese American University partner to enhance development efforts and youth support in Lebanon

May 10, 2024

Beirut, May 10, 2024The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Lebanese American University (LAU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)  aimed at fostering sustainable development and empowering the youth in Lebanon.

This partnership builds on an existing collaboration since 2023, involving the implementation of UNDP’s Youth Leadership Programme (YLP Cohort 9 Bootcamp. This recent MOU aims to strengthen the ties between UNDP and LAU GASC and to expand the efforts of both parties in supporting the youth to a wider range of development topics. Through this partnership, UNDP and LAU GASC will be promoting and supporting innovative thinking and leadership qualities among aspiring professionals and building networks of aspiring professionals who can create change and positive sustainable impact in the community. Additionally, the collaboration will include accelerating the implementation of innovative solutions for sustainable development in Lebanon.

A key initiative under this partnership is the planned National Youth Forum 2024 in the summer of 2024, which will celebrate a decade of the Youth Leadership Programme (YLP). This forum will convene young leaders and change-makers from across the country, providing a platform for them to showcase their achievements and explore new avenues for sustainable development.

Mohammed Salih, Acting Resident Representative of UNDP Lebanon, stated that "UNDP is dedicated to supporting and empowering the youth of Lebanon to become agents of change and leaders in development. Having already supported over 1200 committed YLP alumni, our collaboration with LAU is set to further amplify these efforts, instilling hope and opening new opportunities for the youth." Salih added that this partnership with LAU will open new doors for expanding the collaboration to encompass broader development projects. By joining forces, UNDP and LAU can leverage their combined expertise and resources to accelerate progress and create more inclusive opportunities for development across Lebanon.

Michel E. Mawad, M.D. the President of LAU commented on this partnership saying, “This partnership is timely, necessary, and very promising. The challenges it addresses are among the most pressing on our national agenda and joining forces to tackle them is a strategic imperative. I am grateful to UNDP, its country representative, and his team for choosing to work with LAU through BDGA [Business Development and Global Affairs]. I believe that together we can do much more than either of us can do alone. It is a meeting of minds, wills, and resources for serving a cause very pertinent to our present, and even more so to our future.”

Dr. Elie Badr. the Vice President for Business Development and Global Affairs at LAU commented on the partnership, “bringing together UNDP's global platform and LAU's academic prowess creates inclusive economic opportunities, generates jobs, and builds strong communities. This unified effort cultivates future leaders and changemakers, giving hope to Lebanese citizens. By empowering at the local level, offering fresh perspectives, and casting a bold vision, this collaboration propels progress and leverages each side's strengths. This partnership uplifts Lebanon, creating a ripple effect of positive change and growth throughout the community.”

In recognition of the vital role youth play in achieving development goals, UNDP launched the Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) in 2015, under the regional youth initiative by the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States. This program is dedicated to empowering young change-makers and supporting both young women and men as they design and implement innovative, impactful, and sustainable development solutions. These solutions can take various forms, including social enterprises, nonprofits, NGOs, initiatives, or campaigns.

UNDP under the YLP aims to promote and support innovative thinking and leadership among youth, accelerate the implementation of pioneering solutions for sustainable development, and build networks of young individuals who can create change and have a positive sustainable impact in their communities, countries, and region.


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.