| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

Un Special Coordinator for Lebanon visits Zahle and West Bekaa

The United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Ms. Joanna Wronecka, visited today the areas of Zahle and the West Bekaa in eastern Lebanon. She met with local authorities and toured a development project, an educational institution and an informal tented site for Syrian refugees.

“The impact of the crisis on the people of the Bekaa, just like in other Lebanese areas, is very serious and requires immediate solutions,” the Special Coordinator said after meeting separately with local authorities in Zahle and in West Bekaa. She welcomed steps taken at the local level to address urgent needs.

In Zahle, the Special Coordinator examined a landfill site supported by UNDP with a focus on environmentally-sound waste management. She also visited the Omar Al-Mukhtar Educational Center in Gazze and stressed the key role of youth and education for a sustainable and prosperous future in Lebanon.

Representatives from UNHCR briefed the Special Coordinator on the situation of Syrian refugees. They also discussed the assistance extended by the United Nations to refugees and to Lebanese host communities, particularly ahead of the winter season.

“Both Lebanese citizens and refugees have been deeply impacted by the crisis in Lebanon. What I heard today was the same desire to live in dignity,” the Special Coordinator said after visiting a Syrian refugee site in Zahle. “Guided by the organization’s principle of leaving no one behind, the United Nations will continue to offer its support to those who need it,” she added.

Hoping the Lebanese government resumes its meetings soon, the Special Coordinator underlined the need for urgent reforms, stabilization and long-term plans that serve the stability and sustainable development of the Bekaa and other regions across Lebanon. She also underlined the importance of next year’s elections for Lebanon’s democratic practice and for giving people a say in selecting their representatives.

The Special Coordinator reiterated the importance of safeguarding stability and social cohesion in Lebanon despite the severe socio-economic crisis, and the UN’s strong commitment to leaving no one behind.

  • NNA