The World Bank held yesterday the first meeting of the Lebanon Trust Fund Partnership Board (LFF) to discuss priorities, proposed funding allocations and priority projects for the first year of the fund’s operation, and approved an action plan with total funding allocations of about $ 55 million.
The meeting included representatives of the Lebanese government and donor members of the Fund, which include: Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France and Germany, and civil society organizations representing the Consultative Group for the Framework for Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction, namely: the Forum for Humanitarian and Development Non-Governmental Organizations in Lebanon, KAFA, and Greenmind, and the United Nations.Thanks to the material support provided by Canada, Croatia, Denmark, the European Union, France and Germany, this Partnership Council meeting launches a process of implementing badly needed priority projects that will provide the Lebanese people with immediate social and economic relief, and allow MSMEs to embark on the path of sustainable recovery, according to a phased approach to the Trust Fund and based on the projected level of donor financing available in 2021. While the international community is working together to address the socio-economic recovery needs of the Lebanese people, more donors are called upon to advance and support the priorities of the reform, recovery and reconstruction framework under the fund’s umbrella. The Fund’s approved business plan includes four main projects:
1) Supporting the urgent social recovery needs of vulnerable groups affected by the explosion, with a focus on gender-based violence, psychosocial support and care for the disabled and the elderly;
2) Recovery, environmental remediation and waste management to remove hazardous waste inside and outside Beirut port;
3) Reconstruction of damaged housing and recovery of cultural heritage and creative industries sectors in Beirut, to support the rehabilitation of heritage residential buildings and access to sustainable housing solutions for vulnerable families directly affected by the explosion, and stimulate cultural production in Beirut;
4) Better Rebuilding Beirut Businesses (B5) to support the recovery of targeted MSMEs, and sustain the operations of eligible MFIs. The action plan also includes governance activities that will consolidate the foundations for reconstruction by adopting integrity and transparency, and prepare a road map for the reform of the port sector in Lebanon. Finally, the action plan also includes activities aimed at activating the reform, recovery and reconstruction framework through the establishment of an independent oversight board led by civil society organizations, citizen engagement initiatives that prioritize participation and inclusion, and support for program monitoring and monitoring activities and raising awareness about it.