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Italy to fund UNIDO project on economic recovery in Lebanon

By Localiban | - last updated :

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An agreement on this was signed in Vienna today by UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, and the Permanent Representative of Italy to UNIDO, Ambassador Gianni Ghisi. Lebanese Ambassador Ishaya El-Khoury also took part in the ceremony.

The project will focus on technical assistance and revitalizing small and medium agro-processing enterprises affected by the 2006 war. It will help enhance the livelihoods in rural areas through technology transfer and promotion of non-farm income-generating activities. From 25 to 30 agro-enterprises and up to 250 rural households will benefit from the project.

Calling Italy “one of the leading voluntary contributors to the work of UNIDO”, Director-General Yumkella said: “At the request of the Government of Lebanon, UNIDO will help empower the war-affected communities by integrating humanitarian and development assistance and revitalizing the productive capacities of the country.”

Ambassador Gianni Ghisi added: “Our contribution towards this UNIDO project is in line with the programme of the Italian Cooperation in Lebanon, especially the activities targeting the rural and agricultural development.”

The project will contribute to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the country by helping to eradicate poverty, promote gender equality and empower women. It will also help in capacity-building, improve food security and promote environmentally friendly processing technologies.

Following the August 2006 war, the Government of Lebanon sought the assistance of the UN system in helping to reconstruct the destroyed infrastructure, economic recovery and resettlement of displaced persons. UNIDO, in line with its mandate that focuses on promoting sustainable industrial development, has responded positively to this request.

UNIDO has implemented a 5 million United States dollar project supporting the rehabilitation of 70 agro-enterprises in various sub-sectors, including food, leather, textile and wood processing, which led to the creation of more than 670 new jobs and the enterprises resuming production for both national and export markets. UNIDO has extensive experience in Lebanon through its programme “Enhancing the competitiveness of the Lebanese industry and its integration in the global market”.

UNIDO has successfully implemented post-crises projects in many regions of the world, including in Afghanistan, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Uganda.