United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif will be undertaking her first official visit to Lebanon from 10 to 16 June 2021.

The objective of her mission is to visit projects implemented by UN-Habitat in Lebanon, including assess and further guide UN-Habitat’s ongoing contribution to the response and recovery of Beirut following the tragic Beirut Port explosion of 4 August 2020.

Ms. Sharif is expected to meet with His Excellency the President of the Republic as well as senior officials from the caretaker government to discuss these issues and offer the expertise and support of UN-Habitat in mitigating current and future urban crisis challenges facing the country. She will undertake meetings with senior UN officials, including meet with local and international NGOs, as well as local authorities in Beirut and Tripoli.

Ms. Sharif will be launching the Beirut City Profile under the patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers, H.E. Dr. Hassan Diab and handover completed projects in Beirut and Tripoli.

Her visit further aims to promote and advocate for the necessity of factoring urban complexities and dynamics into crisis response and recovery efforts, including towards sustainable urban development, particularly in support of the government and people of Lebanon, during these unprecedented times.

More than ten months after the explosion, the concurrent socioeconomic, political and financial crises continue. The consequences of these events, exacerbated by the explosion, have pushed more than one third of Lebanese (1.7 million) into poverty, including 9 out of 10 Syrian refugees into extreme poverty (World Bank & UNHCR, 2020). More than 50 per cent of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon were already unemployed before the explosion and it is expected that their living conditions have deteriorated further (Government of Lebanon & United Nations, 2021). Social tensions are at risk of increasing, and the plight of vulnerable Lebanese, including refugees hosted in Lebanon, continues to worsen.

Source: National News Agency