Decentralized cooperation

UNDP Lebanon and Monaco sign a cooperation agreement in the presence of HSH Prince Albert II

By United Nations Development Programme - lb.undp.org | - last updated :

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Under the patronage and in the presence of His Serene Highness (HSH) Prince Albert II of Monaco, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized on 14 Jan 2011 a signing ceremony for two cooperation agreements, the first between Monaco and UNDP in the framework of ART GOLD project, and the second between Monaco and UNRWA.

While Monaco’s support to UNDP-ART GOLD was first initiated in 2008, this agreement provides an additional 400,000 euros to implement projects in Beirut Southern Suburbs lasting through 2013.
The ceremony took place in the presence of the delegation accompanying the Prince, H.E. Lebanese Minister of Information Mr. Tarek Mitri, representative of the Lebanese Minister of Interior and Municipalities Mr. Rabih Chaer, Ambassadors of Italy, Belgium, Spain and Palestine, UN Heads of Agencies, representative of European Commission in Lebanon, Government and Civil Society representatives.

In his speech, the Prince highlighted Monaco’s commitment to reaching 0.7% of GDP for public assistance to development by 2015 and supporting the MDGs more broadly. He concluded that his government “convinced of the need to take action in favor of young people and create for them the conditions for a responsible future with dignity, willingly gave its support to this initiative.”

In addition to supporting youth, the new agreement with Monaco “targets women and other vulnerable groups in the Beirut Southern Suburbs”, said Shombi Sharp, UNDP Officer in Charge. Mr. Sharp, who on behalf of UNDP signed the agreement with the Monaco Principality, expressed UNDP’s sincere gratitude for the continued support made by the Monaco Principality. He added: “UNDP’s cooperation with Monaco has been strengthened through the efforts of the UNDP LIVE LEBANON Goodwill Ambassador for Western Europe, Ms. Bouran Bouery residing in Monaco, who is also the president of a leading NGO that is a partner of UNDP in Lebanon: Les Amis du Liban a Monaco.”

In turn, Mr. Nabil EL Jisr, President of the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) in Lebanon, expressed his gratitude for the Principality of Monaco’s support to Lebanon, highlighting "the special relations that has existed between the populations of both countries for decades." Representing the Lebanese Government, CDR has been the national counterpart of ART GOLD Lebanon since 2007. Mr. El-Jisr added: “in addition to Monaco, other donor countries funding ART GOLD Lebanon are the governments of Spain, Belgium and Italy, which is an expression of solidarity and encouragement to the Lebanese people.”

As for the agreement between Monaco and UNRWA, it enables the creation of a lasting change in the quality of cardiovascular services provided by UNRWA to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. “Over the course of three years, specialized experts will be providing improved diagnosis and treatment for Palestinian patients with cardiovascular diseases, especially as they undergo intensive training and are provided with advanced equipment,” said the Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Mr. Salvatore Lombardo.

UNDP-ART GOLD was launched in 2007 in the most disadvantaged regions of Lebanon, characterized by high poverty rates and extensive socio-economic challenges, namely in North Lebanon, South Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley and Beirut Southern Suburbs. It aims to promote sustainable development and ensure the fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals. Since its inception, the total budget for UNDP-ART GOLD in Lebanon has exceeded USD $11 Million through the contributions of Monaco, the governments of Spain, Italy and Belgium in addition to the Decentralized Cooperation partners.
So far, UNDP-ART GOLD has supported more than 100 Local Authorities, set up 24 “Regional” and 21 “Thematic” working groups and completed nearly 200 projects across numerous sectors, including agriculture, environment, health and education and Local Economic Development benefiting many thousands of people. Over 150,000 people have benefited from an enhanced access to public health care services, some 40,000 youths have engaged in economic activity, approximately 2,000 farmers have received technical assistance and more than 500 small and medium enterprises will be accessing USD 10.5 Million of credit through 2011 and 2012. Also, in the framework of environmental protection activities, entire communities can enjoy the benefits of reforestation as more than 350,000 trees have been planted so far.

Sources : United Nations Development Programme - lb.undp.org