Over 238 businesses and 350 families supported in the port explosion areas
August 24, 2021 (Lebanon) – Since the Beirut Port Explosion, Expertise France – the French public agency in international technical cooperation, has been implementing economic recovery projects for the NMSMEs (nano, micro, small and medium enterprises) impacted by the Beirut Blast, and has partnered with a number of Lebanese NGOs to do so. Expertise France is also providing support for over 350 families and over 100 persons with disabilities (PWD). Falling under the Shabake project, these activities range from cash support, to shop repairs, capacity building sessions, training and coaching as well as assistance through marketing and advertising strategies. The projects also include digitization and the integration of vulnerable populations in the labor force by providing companies with wage incentives schemes.
The NGOs involved in the Shabake Economic Recovery Response are: Al Majmoua; the consortium formed by arcenciel, Live Love Beirut and DPNA (Development for People and Nature Association); Basmeh and Zeitooneh; LebRelief Council; ShareQ and; Shift. The areas covered are the ones impacted by the blast with targeted neighbourhoods such as Bourj Hammoud, Saifi, Medawar, Quarantina, Rmeil, Bachoura, Mazraa, Basta, Furn El Hayek, Geitawi, Gemmayze, Mar Mikhael, Moussaitbe and others. The beneficiaries are shop owners, whether youth, women, people with disabilities, and vulnerable persons. The Economic Recovery Response activities started after the Beirut explosion and will extend till February 2022. An additional amount of circa 950,000US$ has allowed the selected beneficiaries to go back to their shops, restock and reequip, utilize in-kind donations and cash assistance, receive training on crisis management and other topics such as work readiness and digital literacy. The projects aim also at providing inclusive recruitment training for people with disabilities as well as financial incentives to all potential employers, creating social media platforms and promoting fundraising, and creating a digitized economic recovery system.
The beneficiaries were identified after mapping the damages in the areas impacted by the Beirut blast. Vulnerability criterion were set to enable shortlisting the beneficiaries based on the magnitude of the beneficiaries economic and social needs. An additional needs assessment was then undertaken to identify the training needs of the beneficiaries, with a focus on business sustainability to maintain income generating activities and improved livelihoods.
The Economic Recovery Response component of the Shabake project will contribute to strengthening the resilience of Lebanese Civil Society through the improvement of its crisis prevention and management. With Lebanon being home to one of the most vibrant and dynamic civil societies in the Middle East, Lebanese NGOs play an essential role in responding to the challenges Lebanon faces. Their presence in the areas most affected means that they can address a great many of the needs of the Lebanese, reducing thus vulnerabilities. These organizations regularly rise to the occasion to respond to crises, while established CSOs often switch between thinking long term and emergency response. As a result, Lebanese NGOs rely on international donors and INGOs for funding, with most of the local NGOs facing organisational challenges. To address this challenge, the Shabake project aims at improving the resilience of Lebanese civil society, strengthening their leadership and decision-making roles in crisis prevention and management through capacity building and vulnerability reduction activities, making them thus more sustainable and independent organizations.
The Shabake project is funded by the Agence Française de Développment (AFD) and Danida (the Denmark’s development cooperation). The Shabake project contributes in bringing the conversation around the localization of aid in Lebanon to the forefront, engaging NGOs and the donor community alike to promote a coordinated national approach. Expertise France is in charge of the implementation of the project.
Expertise France is the French public agency for international technical cooperation. It designs and implements projects that sustainably strengthen public policies in developing and emerging countries. Governance, security, climate, health, education… It operates in key areas of sustainable development and contributes alongside its partners to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Group is a public entity that funds, supports and accelerates the transitions towards a fairer and more sustainable world. In Lebanon, AFD takes action to reduce vulnerabilities and assist the country towards a more balanced and sustainable development path in a context of regional crisis.
The Denmark’s development cooperation (Danida) aims to combat poverty through promotion of human rights and sustainable economic growth. It operates under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.