U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Elizabeth H. Richard, celebrated the accomplishments of 38 Lebanese municipalities that completed an intensive two-year technical assistance program funded by USAID’s Building Alliances for Local Advancement, Development and Investment – Capacity Building (BALADI CAP). During her remarks, Ambassador Richard congratulated mayors and representatives, noting, “Your work is extremely important and extremely vital because what you do every day has a direct bearing on the livelihoods and the futures of Lebanon’s citizens.” Ambassador Richard also emphasized that the U.S. Government (USG) has been a strong supporter of municipalities for decades because of their valuable contributions to Lebanon’s social and economic development. Since 2012, the U.S. government has provided more than $200 million to support municipalities in delivering key public services. These initiatives are extremely successful at the municipal level, because local organizations can advocate for specific issues of public interest, including promoting human rights, improving accountability, and prioritizing environmental protection. As municipalities develop, they encourage development and growth at the regional and national level.
Specifically, the $15 million BALADI CAP program provided technical assistance to help municipalities improve their financial management, human resources, constituency outreach, and disaster management. The program also supported selected Lebanese municipalities in managing the complex environment created by the influx of Syrian refugees into local communities.
USAID Mission Director Dr. Anne Patterson, representatives of 100 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and mayors from more than the 150 municipalities throughout Lebanon that participated in BALADI CAP also attended.
Read Ambassador Richard’s remarks.