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.