ESCWA to discuss assistance for South Lebanon with concerned officials
Concerned ministers, parliament members, representatives of embassies accredited to Lebanon, representatives of local and international non-governmental organizations (NGO)’s, representatives of the local community in South Lebanon, as well as potential partners from the private sector will be convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) to discuss the Commission’s assistance to South Lebanon and lay the ground for future projects, in a one-day seminar to be organized on June 9 at the UN House, Beirut.
The seminar will evaluate the current assistance provided by ESCWA to South Lebanon and focus on a number of proposed projects, namely in the areas of vocational training, information communication technology, environment, water and others.
The Commission's assistance to South Lebanon is an initiative launched by ESCWA Executive Secretary Mervat Tallawy in October 2001 with the aim of assisting in the socio-economic development of the post-occupied areas. After having held discussions with representatives of the community, ESCWA specialists formulated project ideas within the track that address clear needs in the physical, social and economic domains.
Two development centers in Marjeyoun and Kfar Kila were established in 2002 in order to facilitate the implementation of the assistance project and strengthen the linkages at the local level. The centers also function as sites for the vocational training activities. As many as 16 courses have been conducted at these centers and more than 250 men and women have been trained.
In the field of information communication technology, ESCWA has initiated a number of activities, utilizing the technical assistance of the officers of the Indian Battalion of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). Computer laboratories were established in a number of public schools in the area. This has been coupled with the training of school instructors on the basic use of computers in order to have them relay the knowledge to their students in return.
In conducting the vocational training, the Association au Development Rural (ADR), a local non-governmental organization, with significant experience in South Lebanon has been hired on behalf of ESCWA. UNIFIL has also been assisting in delivering vocational training courses in the ESCWA centers following a memorandum of understanding signed between the peacekeeping force and the regional commission. The Ministry of Social Affairs has so far contributed by providing premises for training upon demand and by endorsing all training certificates. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)