MedCities and political representatives of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB), visited Lebanon to meet the recently elected mayors of its member cities in the country and strengthen its commitment with refugees’ host communities

The Vice-President of the AMB and MedCities Alfred Bosch, the MedCities Secretary General and its Technical Director, made a three-day visit to Lebanon to visit the projects co-financed by AMB and interview the new mayors in order to know the needs and priorities of the MedCities members in Lebanon.

The aim of the visit was to reinforce the support to local communities in Lebanon who are suffering from the Syrian refugee crisis. Most of the members of the network are cities bordering Syria and are hosting a large number of refugees. This fact exacerbates the situation of lack of resources that the Lebanese cities are living, and the need to work for greater decentralization in the country.

During the three days visit, the delegation travelled to the Bekaa Valley, an agricultural region close to the Syrian border where nearly 365,000 refugees are currently living. They visited the project co-financed by the AMB through the Catalan Fund for Development Cooperation (FCCD), with a contribution of €60,704.74, and which has been developed by Action Against Hunger (ACF). ACF has implemented a program for water, hygiene, and sanitation to make a total of 43,500 people to benefit from the construction of new pipelines and the installation of water tanks,

The representatives also met with the mayors of the cities of Byblos, Tripoli, El Mina and Saida. The mayors explained the most urgent needs of these cities and strengthen their commitment within the network.

Finally, the delegation visited the occupational training centre for Lebanese and refugees youth in Saida that the Hariri Foundation is implementing with the collaboration of the Municipality of Saida and co-financement of FCCD. Representatives of the Municipality of Saida accompained the delegation and shared the priorities of the city, linked to the strategy developed under the USUDS project