Today, Ambassador Richard hosted at the U.S. Embassy, leaders of the 32 municipalities selected to receive United States assistance to implement community development projects in 2018. The new set of selected projects was announced during a public event at Le Gray Hotel on January 17. These projects from all over Lebanon will be implemented with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its Building Alliance for Local Development, Advancement, and Investment (BALADI) program.
In her remarks, Ambassador Richard highlighted the USG’s continued support to municipalities as key players in meeting the demand for essential services and advancing Lebanon’s economic prosperity, meeting the needs of citizens is the first duty of government. She congratulated mayors for their efforts to meet the needs of their communities from all geographic areas and for being selected to partner with USAID to make this development opportunity a reality.
The thirty-two municipalities that were selected for support in 2018 will benefit from project-funded equipment, technical assistance, and small-scale construction work. At a time when national level electricity and other services are lacking, these local development projects will increase access to back-up electricity and local health services, enable the provision of water for irrigation and household use, and ensure income generation through agro-processing and entrepreneurship. The projects are expected to improve the lives of more than 121,000 people by the end of the BALADI program in 2019. With this announcement, BALADI will be supporting a total of 87 projects in 23 districts across the country while engaging more than 150 municipalities.