With winter fast approaching, the Lebanon Community Support Program (CSP), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), completed the first of several public infrastructure and income generation interventions prior to the start of the rainy season. One such intervention entailed the construction of a retaining wall along the main road in Ghazze, West Beqaa.
The wall supports a main sidewalk linking residential areas with important community destinations including public schools, the municipal building, and mosques. The sidewalk, which had become downtrodden over time, was on the verge of collapse posing a safety risk for the community. Due to scarce finances as a result of the economic crisis and the village’s large population, the municipality was unable to undertake sorely needed rehabilitation works for the wall and the sidewalk.
CSP addressed this need in Ghazze and hired 32 local Lebanese and Syrian refugee workers to rebuild the 70-meter wall and level the sidewalk. The workers succeeded in finishing the work ahead of the first storms in November. The wall is beneficial to the entire village, which is home to about 7,000 Lebanese residents and 12,000 registered Syrian refugees.
In addition to supporting communities in the Beqaa, CSP is also implementing other public infrastructure interventions in north and south Lebanon to help vulnerable residents endure the winter season. These include building a retaining wall in Markebta (Minieh-Danniyeh, North Lebanon); clearing drainage canals in Al Hasbani, through labor- intensive income generation works; and upgrading irrigation pipes in Kfar Hilda (Batroun district, North Lebanon).
USAID’s CSP is a seven-year, $80 million program that is carrying out a range of rapid response and community development projects in partnership with municipalities, civil society organizations, and the private sector. Despite the economic crisis and the outbreak of COVID-19 in Lebanon, CSP continues to support the Lebanese people through a wide range of activities that improve basic services and enhance economic opportunities for underserved communities in the North, South, and Beqaa Valley. The program also supports response interventions such as the latest community rubble removal support in Beirut following the August 4 explosion. Since launching in October 2018, the program has served more than 120,009 Lebanese residents, 58 percent of whom are women.