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ITALIAN AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATIONLebanon and SyriaBeirut Office

AGENZIA ITALIANA PER LA COOPERAZIONE ALLO SVILUPPO  - Libano e Siria - Sede di Beirut | – ITALIAN AGENCY FOR DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION - Lebanon and Syria - Beirut Office Ambasciata d'Italia a Beirut European Union Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Lebanon



The Italian Development Cooperation in Lebanon supports the efforts for a gradual stabilization of the socio-economic and political situation in the country. The Italian Development Cooperation, active in implementing emergency initiatives, not only represents one of the lead partners of the Lebanese Government regarding activities of bilateral development cooperation, but has also become a preferential interlocutor in several sectors also thanks to the strategy it has adopted to respond to the Syrian Crisis.

The evolution of the aforementioned strategy, starting from the establishment of the Local Technical Unit (UTL) at the Italian Embassy of Beirut in 2007, responded to the needs of the country through the funding: firstly, of emergency programmes following the 2006 post-conflict period, and secondly, over the years through further initiatives aiming to achieve a longer term development. In addition to the commitment in favour of Palestinian refugees, various projects were funded through the bilateral channel supporting social development policies (support to children, women and gender issues, improvement of health services), environmental conservation (enhancing environmental conditions, development of renewable energies, sustainable use of natural resources), infrastructure policies, especially those related to the water supply network (water purification plants, wastewater treatment, installation of irrigation canals) and policies for waste disposal, agriculture and rural development, the protection and enhancement of the cultural heritage (preservation of archeological sites, requalification of the historic urban areas, training). The Italian Cooperation in Lebanon has always worked placing particular attention on maintaining the territorial and religious balance in the distribution of aid and development projects.

Through the signature of an agreement for the supply of soft-loans - the Protocol of 1997-1998 - for an amount of over 132 million euro, Italy has contributed to the stabilization of the country, since the 2006 conflict, by rehabilitating and reconstructing primary infrastructure and basic services. Between 2006 and 2009, three agreements were made in compliance with the commitments of the Paris III Conference (2007) and the Vienna Donor Conference (June 2008) in favour of interventions in the infrastructure sector.

With the escalation of the conflict in Siria in 2011, the main strategy adopted by the Italian cooperation shifted towards the humanitarian aid, based on the need to support those sectors directly affected by the current situation. After more than three years of hostilities, it is appropriate to speak about a real "Crisis”, to be tackled through interventions with a development character based on the already undertaken path following 2006, in addition to the other projects targeting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.