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UNIFIL’s support to local communities in South Lebanon


Al Hayat highlighted today the community development role of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, UNIFIL, deployed in South Lebanon since 1978. Numbering 10500 individuals from 41 different countries, UNIFIL has created squads for local development in their areas of operation. For more on the subject, Al Hayat spoke to the Strategic Communications and Information officer at UNIFIL, Melanie Jansen, who said that besides its main peacekeeping mission, the international force has made several contributions targeting local communities in its areas of operation. The mission, Jansen stated, works in cooperation with municipalities and local authorities with the aim of building capacities of institutions and boosting undertakings in key areas to sustain these communities in the long term. These include, health, veterinary assistance, environment protection, agriculture and adequate sewage treatment, in addition to organizing language courses, visitors exchange programs and capacity building training workshops in the southern towns and villages. Jansen stressed that UNIFIL gives priority to projects serving young people, children and women through so-called quick-impact projects (QIPs) that are small-scale, rapidly implementable and achieve direct results. Jansen pointed out that in the past five years, UNIFIL has invested nearly USD 5.2 million in 146 community projects it undertook in the different villages within its area of operation. Recently, UNIFIL has bolstered the work of women-run cooperatives to help women expand their businesses and activities, Jansen concluded, maintaining that thousands of UNIFIL personnel significantly contribute to the local economic cycle. (Al Hayat, September 7, 2017)

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