SOCIAL AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
Background Information/Activities & Goals
UNDP's support in the area of social and local development focuses on policy and operational support. At the upstream level, UNDP provides advice for the development of national policies for social development and poverty reduction and makes available relevant reports and assessments. At the downstream level, UNDP supports the implementation of local development initiatives in the poorest areas of the country. In addition to the spill-over from the Syria war, where Lebanon continues to host the largest refugee per capita population in the world, the country has been more recently reeling from other crises that include a financial and economic crisis that has induced systemic macro-financial failures, and the health and socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Beirut Port Blast of August 2020.
UNDP has developed an adaptive response strategy to alleviate the immediate impact of the compounded crises on Lebanese host communities and displaced Syrians by strengthening the capacity of local authorities for service delivery and good governance, and through income-generating interventions towards longer-term sustainable local development. Projects are identified in a conflict-sensitive manner through an inclusive community-based approach.
251 most vulnerable communities were assessed using a participatory and conflict sensitive approach and since 2014, more than 245 municipalities and 26 Unions/clusters were targeted reaching 2,979,280 of the most vulnerable people through livelihood and local economic development projects and enhanced basic services delivery across Lebanon.
At the upstream level, UNDP continues to provide advice for the development of national policies for social development and poverty reduction and makes available relevant reports and assessments. UNDP has recently completed a rapid national poverty assessment and is continuing to provide its support at the national level to enable the concerned national institutions to cope with the impact of the Syrian crisis. UNDP is also strengthening the capacity of emerging sub-national institutions, such as MoSA Social Development Centers to enable them to assume a stronger role in the coordination at the local level and to make connections to relevant national bodies.
At the downstream level, UNDP works on strengthening the capacity of local institutions to develop and implement integrated local development plans that respond to priority community needs focusing on the poorest areas of the country. Facing the effect of the Syrian crisis and the high influx of Syrian refugees to Lebanon, UNDP has focused on supporting the affected Lebanese communities through improving livelihoods and service provision using participatory and conflict sensitive approach.
A total of 667 projects were implemented in the sectors of Energy, Health, Water Management, Municipal Infrastructure, Education, SDC Support, Wastewater management, Solid Waste Management, Community Infrastructure, Agriculture, Environment, Support to SMEs/Coops/Entrepreneurship, Youth Employment, and Socio-Economic interventions, in addition to livelihood interventions with growing emphasis on implementing an integrated area-based economic development approach based on value chain analyses and with a special focus on women and youth empowerment.
In additional, as part of social stability activities, UNDP SLD established three mediation units and strengthened mediation skills a total of a total 50 municipal and civil society stakeholders (26 females, 24 males), including youth connected to the Youth Leadership Program team. MERP also strengthened the capacity of 75 people in the development of basic service and LED projects that respond to the needs of the community.
In parallel, the Youth Leadership Programme in Lebanon, part of the UNDP SLD, continued its mission to create and empower change-makers all over Lebanon and YLP team launched the programme and 250 youth joined the YLP alumni cohort.
Support to UNDP SLD is provided mainly through donor funding. The main counterparts include the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Council for Development and Reconstruction, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Ministry of Labor and local authorities.