A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on August 18th, 2015 between the Union of Municipalities of Koura, Lebanon represented by its president Eng, Karim Bou Karim and the team implementing the Capacity Building Component (CBC) of the European Union funded Municipal Finance Reform Programme (MUFIN), represented by the team leader Mr. Walter van Dam

The ceremony was held at the union’s headquarters in Amioun, in the presence of members of the union, mayors, representatives from the civil society and associations, as well as the Capacity Building Component team.
According to President Bou Karim “the lack of planning is a planning for failure” and “the launching of the strategic planning process is sponsored by the European Union program aiming to provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities and in cooperation with the Union of Municipalities and the municipalities of Koura and the participation of the civil society. The strategic plan is a key means to enable the authorities and the local community to benefit from the region’s resources and human energies and activate its role in reaching the desired goals. Also it is a study of the current status of the region to draw its needs and to develop a medium and long term strategy of development. The success rate and the failure of the plan depend primarily on the interaction with theUnion of Municipalities and the civil society. The phase to follow the implementation of the plan is to set the stage for finding needed funding to implement some or all of the projects approved in the plan”


Following the signing of the MoU, the CBC team will assist the Union of Municipalities of Koura to develop a strategic plan to promote local development of the municipalities and villages through a participatory planning process. The KTC Al Fayhaa will follow-up the development of the strategy and provide any needed support.

This plan will include:

  • Choice of the direction of future development of the Union and its member municipalities: which economic and social sectors
  • Selection of at least one development project aiming at stimulating growth in the medium to long-term and a strategy to obtain funding
  • The Union’s capabilities to do such things on its own strength in the future

The European Union is funding this cooperation because it wishes the Lebanese Unions of Municipalities to develop and prosper, and to overcome the many problems they are facing in this difficult time.
The objective is to give the Union the tools in hand to identify development projects that are the most needed and to obtain funds to realize them and therefore enable them to decide and build their own future.”

The MUFIN Programme

The MUFIN programme “Support to Municipal Finance Reform” was launched on 12 July 2012. It is part of the EU-Lebanon cooperation on local development and decentralization and is funded by the European Union with a €20 million grant. It aims to contribute towards more balanced socio-economic developmentthroughmodernized municipal administration and effective central support to the localadministration. Its specific aims are to improve the municipal finance framework, enhance thecapacities of municipal sector to assume its mandate, and provide financial support to localdevelopment initiatives and projects.

The main expected results of the programme are: (i) strengthening capacities both at central andlocal levels to foster and manage local development, (ii) improving the regulatory framework to enhance municipal revenues and (iii) improving service delivery and revenue generation at thelocal level.

The objective of the capacity building component CBC within the MUFIN programmeis to support the reform of municipal financing by increasing management capacities at both ministry and municipal level.It consists of three sub-components:

  1. Identification and dissemination of best practices in municipal finance
  2. Institutional support to the Directorate General of Municipalities
  3. Support to strategic planning in the municipal sector which will help municipalities and Unions of Municipalities identify the projects and policies that create the most benefits for their people

Within the same program support is being provided to two other unions of municipalities in Lebanon, the Union of municipalities of West Baalbeck and the Union of Municipalities of Al Jurd Al Aala- Bhamdoun who signed the Memorandum of Understanding on 24 Oct 2014.

For more information, read the press release or read this article.