Lebanon achieved mixed results in reaching the required UN millennium development goals, according to a report published by the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) for 2013-2014, with the support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
The country succeeded in meeting the educational goal for universal primary education. Three health goals have also been met: Reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, and combat of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Critical targets for poverty reduction and environmental sustainability remain issues to be addressed, according to the report. The country’s fight to achieve these two goals was aggravated by the presence of Syrian refugees.
UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said: “It is important to remember that more than 28 percent of Lebanese were estimated to be living below the $4 per day poverty line, before the refugee crisis. We all know that the burden the country is carrying is putting great pressure on its own economy, its capacity to provide services, and its environmental management. This is a not a burden which Lebanon can bear alone.”
The record is also mixed when it comes to the empowerment of women and gender balance, and financial and trade market integration.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed as part of the UNDP’s Lebanon Stabilization and Recovery Program. The MoU is for the execution of a project, “Support to Integrated Service Provision at the Local Level.” It would employa resilience-based approach to tackling problems in the health, social and education sectors. Its aim would be to support the development of integrated health territorial plans to increase access to high-quality primary health care services for the targeted communities. It would also seek to increase awareness about health in public schools.
The proposed two-year project has been developed with a medium-term plan. In its first phase, the project would target 25 municipalities, including eight in Wadi Khaled, North Lebanon, while the others are interspersed throughout the rest of the country.
The project will work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE), the Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA), the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities (MoIM) and the local authorities.