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Atlas of Lebanon

Part 7 - Territorial Governance, Urban and National Planning

International cooperation to the aid of local development

Jihad Farah et Wassim Abdelsater

Texte intégral

1Lebanon is heavily dependent on international aid, which has more and more invested in local development, through multiple actors, channels and categories of intervention (decentralized cooperation, development aid, emergency aid…). This diversity shows the competition and the complementarity between donors in a country they deem strategic.

2Many Lebanese municipalities maintain relationships with local entities located across the five continents. Often formal and quite old, they reflect the geography of Lebanese emigration (Latin America, Australia, United States…) or cultural affinities (with French-speaking countries: France, Belgium). Approaches revealing the will for a more ambitious support to local development have recently emerged, in the context of the rise of municipal action in Lebanon, while international organizations consider decentralized cooperation to be a potential tool for development in the developing countries. Personal relationships may play a decisive role in these collaborations. In addition, the networks of local actors and authorities, such as MedCities and United Cities, and Local Governments, as well as some national development agencies (mostly the French and Italian ones), provide a motivational framework for the development of decentralized cooperation initiatives through their communication campaigns and the resources they offer for networking.

3As the French-Lebanese decentralized cooperation projects show, various territorial levels and sectors of intervention are involved. This cooperation may be developed between regional and departmental councils, municipalities and municipal unions on the French side, and municipalities and municipal unions on the Lebanese side. Cultural exchanges may account for a major part of these projects but institutional capacity building, territorial planning, the provision of basic services, and agricultural and rural development are on the rise. Because of the required skill-set and technical capacities, the most diverse decentralized cooperation programs and projects mostly take place in the biggest Lebanese cities and the most dynamic municipal unions.

4In addition to decentralized cooperation, many agencies and programs linked to the UN and the European Union as well as national cooperation agencies launch local initiatives in very diverse fields. The rural and peripheral regions are here the most targeted.

Figure VII-18: Geography of the activities related to the French decentralized cooperation in Lebanon

Figure VII-18: Geography of the activities related to the French decentralized cooperation in Lebanon

5This profusion of development projects supported by funds that are external to Lebanon raises the question of their coherence. The geography of the intervention of these international actors reveals as much a logic of complementarity as one of competition. Mapping the municipal-level and village-level development projects coordinated by USAID, the European Union and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development since 2005 shows a de facto spatial distribution between these three actors: the superposition of interventions only affects 9% of the municipalities and villages. This priority geography targets urgent needs: The South after the 2006 war and the underprivileged rural areas of the Akkar and Denniyeh. The concentration in the caza of Jezzine results more from the dynamism of the municipal union and the relationships it maintains with development agencies and donors. The implemented projects focus on support provided for the development of basic municipal services (more than 77% of them), the rest tackling the population’s participation in local decision-making (15%) and institutional development (6%).

Figure VII-19: Geography of the development aid provided by USAID, the European Union and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, at the municipal level

Figure VII-19: Geography of the development aid provided by USAID, the European Union and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, at the municipal level

6More recently, in response to the challenges arising from the considerable inflow of Syrian refugees, the UNHCR Inter-Agency Coordination Unit has become an essential vector for the intervention of many international actors, as much when it comes to emergency aid as development aid. The necessity to help host communities has become clear, to improve the assistance provided to refugees and to strengthen the country’s stability. The Inter-Agency Coordination Unit identifies priority areas of intervention through the classification of the “vulnerable cadastral zones”. These localities receive the largest shares of registered refugees and concentrate a high proportion of low-income households. The map of the vulnerable cadastral zones shows which ones benefited from an intervention of one or several agencies until July 2015. The distribution of the vulnerable localities noticeably differs from the geography of the development agencies’ intervention. The rural regions of the North and the Bekaa Valley are the main beneficiaries, because they host most of the temporary refugee camps (tents and flimsy materials). However, the urban areas, which also receive many refugees, are targeted as well.

Figure VII-20: Vulnerable cadastral zones and interventions of agencies linked to the inter-agency coordination of the UNHCR

Figure VII-20: Vulnerable cadastral zones and interventions of agencies linked to the inter-agency coordination of the UNHCR

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure VII-18: Geography of the activities related to the French decentralized cooperation in Lebanon
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifpo/docannexe/image/13316/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 73k
Titre Figure VII-19: Geography of the development aid provided by USAID, the European Union and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, at the municipal level
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifpo/docannexe/image/13316/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 121k
Titre Figure VII-20: Vulnerable cadastral zones and interventions of agencies linked to the inter-agency coordination of the UNHCR
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifpo/docannexe/image/13316/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 152k

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