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The experience of Lebanon Nada Al-Nashif Sarajevo, October 2004

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JPO Regional Workshop Crisis Prevention and Recovery. The experience of Lebanon Nada Al-Nashif Sarajevo, October 2004. Context: The Civil War 1975-1990. Before the war: high standard of living, with a prosperous and dynamic middle class

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JPO Regional Workshop

Crisis Prevention and Recovery

The experience of Lebanon

Nada Al-Nashif

Sarajevo, October 2004


Context: The Civil War 1975-1990

  • Before the war: high standard of living, with a prosperous and dynamic middle class
  • "laissez faire" economy with an important role for the private sector while Government does not exercise a dominant central planning function.
  • 15 years civil strife (1975-1990) with:
    • massive loss of life (120,000-150,000 deceased and 250,000 casualties/disability)
    • displacement (around 1 million)
    • loss to the national economy amounting to billions of US Dollars
    • Others: institutional weakening of the public sector, serious deterioration of the natural environment, spatial imbalances, etc.

The Case of Mount Lebanon: Displacement

  • Approximately 950 villages and towns were displaced (174 were totally or partially destroyed)
  • Over 500,000 Lebanese (90,000 families) were displaced/became refugees
  • Alteration of the geographical distribution of multi-confessional population of the area
  • Displaced are among the poorest echelons of the Lebanese society -due to the loss of their houses and income: 50% cannot meet their basic needs and 12.5% live in absolute poverty.

Reintegration and Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of the Displaced

Objective: Providing economic and social support to the displaced for cementing the return process and complement government efforts for housing resettlement and reconstruction, and rehabilitation/reconstruction of basic infrastructure

Target: 11,600 families or an estimated 66,100 people in the Mount Lebanon region


Reintegration & Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of the Displaced: Axis of Intervention

Economic developmentfocusing on:

agricultural development, including small community based infrastructure (rural roads and irrigation canals), extension services, etc.

Social development: focusing on:

Education: rehabilitation of community public schools, equipment, IT infrastructure, school clubs

Health: rehabilitation/ equipment of community health centers


Reintegration & Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of the Displaced: Axis of Intervention

Environment: studies and general awareness

Local Community Mobilization focusing on municipalities and cooperatives (training and implementation of community projects)

and establishing long term development plans based on statistical profiles (GIS)


Reintegration & Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of the Displaced: Axis of Intervention

Reintegration and conflict resolution focusing on youth and community groups through:

  • animated meetings with community members
  • Inter and intra-village meetings
  • Youth camps and clubs
  • youth training workshops

(reconciliation, democracy &

social acceptance including youth

participants, NGOs and

community partners


Occupation of South Lebanon: Another Story

A conflict that continued for 33 years and was accentuated following the occupation of a borderline zone in 1978, then the extension of this occupation towards new land in 1982.

This exceptional longevity of the conflict has deeply marked this region, both physically and on the human one.


Occupation of South Lebanon: Another Story

Socio-economic characteristics: young population, high percentage of widows and orphans, high illiteracy, and gender inequality in illiteracy rates

Other concerns include thousands of damaged housing units, environmental degradation, and thousands of mined zones

Basic infrastructure and services either totally damaged or in need of rehabilitation


Occupation of South Lebanon: The Main Results

  • massive displacement,
  • over-representation of female heads of households,
  • high rates of disability,
  • poverty incidence high (25% of population live below the poverty line)
  • high rate of unemployment and high dependency on war-economy for income generation (representing more than 30% of household economy)
  • Other specific problems; e.g freed prisoners, soldiers, etc.

Occupation of South Lebanon: The Potential

  • Strong attachment of the disapora to the region
  • Existence of educated elite and dynamism of the inhabitants
  • Potential for mobilizing investors
  • Adequate area for cultivation, availability of water resources and rich soil
  • Touristic and natural wealth
  • Well situated urban centers, low cost of land and young dynamic workforce

Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of South Lebanon: Target Components

  • Reintegration and rehabilitation of former detainees
  • Support to economic/enterprise development
  • Local mobilization and local governance
  • Youth mobilization for post conflict reconciliation
  • Socio-economic mine-action assistance
  • Information resource and resource mobilization

Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of South Lebanon: Reintegration and Rehabilitation of Former Detainees

Objective: ensure the smooth reintegration of former detainees into normal life to enable them to contribute to national reconciliation and economic recovery.

Target Poprluation: 2,200 former detainees and their family members

Duration: 1.5 years

Components: medical screening, assistance for disability, counseling, literacy & vocational training, job search, small-scale credit


Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of South Lebanon: Income-Generating Activities and Enterprise Development

Objective: Generating productive employment through developing small-scale enterprises

Target: small-scale entrepreneurs and other economic agents, cooperatives, small businesses

Components: Training on enterprise establishment and development, business counseling services, start-up small credit provision


Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of South Lebanon: Local Mobilization & Capacity Building

Objective: strengthening the capacity of Cooperatives and municipalities to form a lobby group for advocating the development of the region, in addition to improving income generation at the local level

Components: Capacity Development (including HRD), implementation of community projects, and fostering linkages with gov’t/donors/NGOs


Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of South Lebanon: Local Mobilization & Capacity Building

Objective: mobilize youth in the southern Lebanon region to contribute to post-conflict peace building in region in order to avoid conflicts and tensions among different communities with different political, social and religious groups.

Components: Facilitate establishment of youth groups, capacity development and training of youth and community facilitators, implementation of voluntary community projects and youth structures


Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of South Lebanon: Socio-Economic Liaison to Mine Action

Management Information System:

to facilitate the efficient organization, updating, and retrieval of community information as deemed necessary by stakeholders in order to be used by partners involved in the development of the region. (e.g. development of databases, acquisition of shared information; preparation, release and dissemination of information reports)

Objective:to provide the link between physical demining and socio-economic rehabilitation (surveys and implementation of projects


Post Conflict Recovery: Some lessons learned from the Lebanon Experience

  • It is important to invest in background strategy preparation in anticipation of the post-conflict situation.
  • Such a strategy should be as participatory as possible in order to ensure buy-in of “most” stakeholders.
  • It is also very important to to have systems of follow-up, evaluation and impact assessments consolidated within project interventions from their onset.
  • Coordination mechanisms should be established and should include all stakeholders, including national counterparts, donors, and civil society organizations.

Post Conflict Recovery: Some lessons learned from the Lebanon Experience

In terms of programme interventions:

  • Activities supporting reconciliation are of high importance in the reconciliation process and have helped in the return and reconciliation processes – this is primarily true in the case of youth reconciliation and rehabilitation activities that constitute a cornerstones for cementing the returning process.
  • Activities supporting the rehabilitation of the socio-economic sectors are important for strengthening the return process in terms of increasing access to basic social services and productivity.
  • Focusing on local capacity building for community structures, including CBOs and cooperatives, assists in building a lobby group at the local level.
  • Capacity-building interventions targeting all sectors are an important part for sustaining interventions.

Post Conflict Recovery: Some lessons learned

  • Targeting is an important step- chosen villages and clusters should be selected based on transparent well-defined criteria, with adequate confessional distribution over severely depopulated, physically devastated, economically remote, and socially deprived areas.
  • Local participatory development processes should be used by the project in the selection of interventions, including determining the priorities and ensuring sustainability.
  • Sustainability considerations should be underlined from the onset of the project. These may include issues of capacity building, local community contribution (as a pre-condition to move from issues of “entitlements”), participation, etc.

Post Conflict Recovery: Some lessons learned

  • Is is important not to raise expectations at the local level- budgetsof projects may be limited, and decisions on the scope of activities and geographic coverage should be given in light of budget considerations.
  • Implementation of projects at the level of more than one community in order to achieve better measurable impact; and promote participation among different localities.
  • All projects should include a communication/ information strategy to be widely disseminated on all stakeholders, stressing on the neutrality of UNDP’s interventions and transparency in activities.