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Lebanon, Union of Municipalities of Middle Bekaa Health and Sports Development Projects

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Sep 10, 2019 / 0 Comments

Due to the lack of sufficient infrastructures in health and education and lack of recreational activities, the Union of Municipalities of Middle Bekaa established several institutions to mitigate tensions caused by the high number of refugees and tough economic conditions


Lead Authority or Organization: Union of Municipalities of Middle Bekaa  

Area: Union of Municipalities of Middle Bekaa, Mekseh, Lebanon 

Beneficiaries: Lebanese and Syrians

Timeline: June 2016 – ongoing

Human Resources: 1 project manager, 4 project coordinators, 3 project advisors, 1 construction engineer, 1 administration officer, 1 logistics officer, 1 data management officer



Context and Challenges


The Union of Municipalities of Middle Bekaa and its seven Municipalities (Qabb Elias, Bouarij, Anjar, Majdal Anjar, Bar Elias, Mekseh, Marijat) are concerned with guaranteeing equal services to the Lebanese host community and Syrian refugees to meet their needs and contrast economic, social, and educational disparities in a context with a high unemployment rate.


There are approximately 63,000 Syrian refugees in Qabb Elias; 23,000 in Majdal Anjar; 20,000 in Bar Elias; 19,000 in Anjar; 4,500 in Mekseh; 700 in Bouarij; and 400 in Marijat. These municipalities all experience poverty, lack of sufficient income, unemployment, increased consumption of natural resources, competition over jobs, polarization of social services and subsidies, and absence of data concerning their distribution. Most of these municipalities also suffer from the lack of necessary supplies to meet emergency needs, lack of funding, and insufficient budget allocation for the education sector. Children and younger generations are the most affected and deprived of their right to affordable, quality education. Moreover, the lack of recreational, cultural, and educational places for youth sometimes creates tensions within families.



Actions and Reported Results

In order to face those challenges, the Union of Municipalities of Middle Bekaa established:

  • The Mekseh clinic, which provides medical assistance to Syrians and Lebanese of all ages.
  • The Mekseh school to provide education to Syrian students at all levels.
  • The Bouarij clinic, providing medical assistance and medications.
  • The Bouarij sports complex, which covers a large area, including a basketball court and a football pitch, and offers many sports and recreational activities.


Reported Results

  • Job creation. The project led to the creation of new job opportunities such as doctors, nurses, cleaners, organization workers, event planners, as well as some jobs for youth interested in sports activities.
  • Increased social cohesion between host and refugee communities. The project let people to cooperate and work together, creating integration, mutual acquaintances, and capacity to live together and coordinate with one another.


Evidence and Beneficiary Feedback

According to the Union of Municipalities, the project received positive feedback from Syrians. However, the quality of services received was not sufficient for the local population.



Lessons Learned

Challenges and Risks

  • Lack of adequate financial resources
  • High number of refugees resulting in a demographic change


Key Ingredients of Success

  • Collaborative environment
  • Awareness-raising campaigns for youth
  • Allocation of a special budget for the education sector 


Innovative Aspects

  • Development of relationships between people to alleviate existing tensions
  • Creation of job opportunities
  • Creation of entertainment for all ages and genders
  • Provision of a clinic to provide timely first aid



  • Union of Municipalities of Middle Bekaa
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Civil society organizations


This post is part of a series of case-studies published in the CMI 2018 Refugees' Compendium and featuring host communities experiences in hosting refugees with relation to local economic development. The information in-here was provided by focal points in the relevant institutions, NGOs, local governments, etc


Read the story on the compendium


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