Building Consensus Through Community Development in Tyre, Lebanon
According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Lebanon has the highest percentage of Palestinian refugees living in abject poverty. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon face discrimination in the labor market as well as restricted access to education and health services. They also face staggering rates of joblessness and substandard housing conditions. Many of these communities are still suffering from the effects of the 2006 war in southern Lebanon.
In 2008, ANERA worked with partner organizations and community leaders to help improve the quality of life in communities in the greater Tyre area with funding from USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives. ANERA’s program aimed at alleviating some of these communities’ burdens by rehabilitating essential infrastructure, eliminating environmental hazards, and encouraging reconciliation between Lebanese and Palestinian communities.
How It Worked
ANERA conducted participatory assessments with various segments of Palestinian and Lebanese communities living in southern Lebanon. These awareness sessions informed and empowered community members to implement development work. Projects included rehabilitation of the electricity network in Al-Mouassiseh neighborhood in Burj Shamali camp, an environmental stewardship campaign in Chabriha, and the inauguration of a playground in the mixed Palestinian and Lebanese municipality of Burghliyeh. These projects not only responded to the immediate needs of Lebanon’s neglected southern cities, but also helped build bonds between Palestinian and Lebanese communities.