USAID is committed to helping Lebanon modernize and achieve long-term prosperity through programs that strengthen service delivery and create new jobs. Our activities bolster the efforts of Lebanese institutions to provide high quality education, as well as improve the provision of water, sanitation, and other public services, particularly in poor and underserved areas of the country. USAID support enhances economic opportunity, promotes environmental protection, improves local governance, and helps mitigate the impacts of the Syria crisis in Lebanon.
We engage with partners to respond to needs expressed by ordinary citizens and to better enable local residents to drive and sustain community development. This draws on America’s long history of support to Lebanon, where the U.S. has been providing foreign assistance since 1951. Since 2006, USAID has provided more than $1.3 billion in assistance for the Lebanese people.
USAID seeks to improve student learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy in the primary grades, increase social and emotional skills, and build the capacity of educational institutions to deliver high quality service. This support aligns with the “Reaching All Children with Education” (RACE 2) strategy created by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Our basic education program trains teachers and coaches, develops educational content, supplies learning materials, and strengthens the ability of institutions to enhance the overall quality of education. Approximately two thousand public school teachers have received training to improve the instruction of Arabic reading in the primary grades. All of Lebanon’s primary public schools benefit from USAID’s assistance.
In higher education, USAID has provided full undergraduate scholarships to more than 1,300 Lebanese and refugee students to undertake their university studies in Lebanon. Scholarship recipients come from all over the country and pursue majors with prospects for meaningful employment. They also benefit from leadership training and civic engagement opportunities.
USAID also supports twelve Lebanese higher education institutions with technical assistance to better prepare their graduates to be successful in the labor market.
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNANCE
Our local development activities enable municipal governments to offer better essential services to their residents, build capacity for members of civil society to successfully advocate on critical public policy issues, and promote a strong culture of citizenship among local Lebanese. Working at the local level not only enables Lebanese citizens to interact with elected officials on issues that directly impact their lives, but also allows individuals to witness the tangible impacts of U.S. assistance. Since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2012, more than 1.3 million people have benefitted from USAID’s almost $200 million investment to improve basic services, including renewal back-up power generation and clean water provision, as well as expand economic livelihoods at the local community level. The vast majority of these interventions have been in poor and vulnerable communities facing resource constraints.
USAID’s ongoing partnership with Lebanon’s four regional water establishments and the Litani River Authority has increased access to clean and consistently available drinking water for 620,000 Lebanese citizens and 120,000 Syrian refugees by providing technical expertise, cutting-edge equipment, and small-scale infrastructure improvements. USAID has invested $180 million over the past 15 years to upgrade public water utilities by rehabilitating more than 60 major regional potable water facilities, constructing more than 200 km of new potable water networks, and installing more than 60,000 water meters. USAID’s contributions have led to improved operational efficiencies that will ultimately result in better service for consumers.
USAID also provides resources to municipalities to implement initiatives addressing local development priorities. More than 170 municipalities have received technical assistance in 23 districts throughout the country. This support has enhanced the livelihoods of more than 270,000 people through job creation and by strengthening the rural economy. Thirty-eight municipalities have also participated in USAID’s unique, institutional development training program that includes on-the-job training and mentoring. More than 90 community-based interventions and related technical assistance are being supported, which will benefit more than 645,000 people by the end of 2022.
USAID improves economic opportunities by implementing programs that enable the private sector to create new jobs and increase incomes for the poor and disenfranchised, especially in rural areas. Since 2014, USAID has provided $113 million to boost private sector development and improve access to finance in Lebanon. These funds have benefitted more than 20,000 enterprises - including 2,660 women-owned businesses - and resulted in 7,500 new jobs and $60 million in newly leveraged funds. Between November 2019 and April 2020, in the midst of the recent financial crisis, USAID was able to generate nearly $20 million in leveraged funding to invest in startup businesses. USAID also partners with Lebanese financial institutions to expand access to finance for 20,000 unbanked, small and family-owned businesses, enabling them to secure credit and set up checking and savings accounts. In addition, more than 800 entrepreneurs were trained on best practices to start and grow a business, and offered technical assistance and mentoring. Finally, USAID supports a healthy natural environment through its partnership with the US Forest Service and rural communities. Over the last six years, more than 1.2 million native trees have been planted on more than 2,000 hectares of land throughout Lebanon, creating more than 2,500 seasonal jobs.