Mikati: Lebanon will remain part of the Arab world

NNA - Prime Minister Najib Mikati affirmed that "Lebanon, which was and will remain part of the Arab world, is experiencing an unprecedented crisis at all levels, and our government is trying to solve it with all available capabilities, relying on the support of its Arab brothers and friends in the world."

He added: "We are waiting for our Arab brethrens to understand our reality well, and to stand by us to spare Lebanon the dangers and help us bear the burdens that have exceeded our capabilities.”

Mikati stressed that Lebanon adopts a policy of disassociation from any Arab dispute and insists on its implementation, noting that the loser in every dispute or conflict is the Arab world which has always been seeking unity.

In turn, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, stressed that the region suffers from stifling crises that have reflected on its reality, especially on the levels of education and the decline of scientific research in universities and research centers.

Aboul Gheit underlined that redressing the delay requires increasing the budget for scientific research, giving the young generation an opportunity, and preparing it to be able to face the challenges of the current century, allowing it to be fully equal and compete with other societies.

He emphasized that "the city of Beirut, a beacon of knowledge, spares no effort to support every activity that enriches joint Arab action in all its fields."

Mikati's speech came in the context of a ceremony honoring the winners of the "Arab Prize for the Best Doctoral Thesis in Legal and Judicial Sciences in the Arab World", in the presence of Aboul Gheit, ewhich was held this morning at the Grand Serail.

Mikati launches “Rehabilitation of Housing in Beirut”

NNA - Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Friday launched a project titled ‘Rehabilitation of Housing in Beirut and Social Recovery Projects’ at the Grand Serail upon the invitation of the World Bank.

The launching ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Saadeh Al-Shami, the World Bank’s Regional Director of the Mashreq Department, Saroj Saroj Kumar Jha, European Union Ambassador, Ralph Tarraf, as well as the ambassadors of Denmark, Germany, Canada, and Norway. Also present had been the Representative of the United Nations Human Settlements Program in Lebanon, UNESCO’s Regional Director, and the Governor of Beirut city.

The World Bank’s Kumar Jha delivered a speech, in which he deemed the response to Beirut Port blast “exceptional”.

“The relentless efforts exerted by many humanitarian and international institutions, the Lebanese Army, the civil society, as well as local organizations are highly commendable,” he added.

Kumar Jha went on to explain that the objective of the trust fund allocated for Lebanon was to rehabilitate and address the remaining gaps in the post Beirut Port blast phase.

“This project was designed as an urgent and emergency one; in the wake of August 4 explosion, urgent matters became more pressing and generated crises that Lebanon is still suffering from until now,” the WB official said.

"The project meets and responds to urgent and specific needs on the ground, ranging from the reconstruction of many residential buildings of heritage value, and laying the foundations for medium and long-term support for flexible urban development,” he added.

Kumar Jha also expressed belief that to facilitate the return of the population, prevent further displacement, evacuate the population at risk, and prevent brain drain, there was an urgent need for a response at the civil and urban levels. “This requires the integration of the city and the port, and a re-imagination of the port's role within the city as a whole,” he added.

Kumar Jha went on to say that supporting workers in the cultural field helped restore cultural life and provided incentives to continue cultural production to help restore the city’s vitality.

"This project is being carried out by the United Nations Human Settlements Program, which has great experience on the ground in Lebanon, in cooperation with stakeholders; the World Bank is also committed to helping Lebanon, and this project is a continuation of the great efforts it is making,” Kumar Jha explained.

"The basic condition for the success of any project is transparency,” he concluded.

In turn, Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, delivered a speech in which he said, “We are pleased today to launch two projects funded by the “Dedicated Trust Fund for Lebanon”, which is managed by the World Bank. This fund is a basic framework established to secure grants and enhance the coordination of financial resources to support the economic and social recovery of the most vulnerable population in Lebanon, as well as businesses affected by Beirut Port explosion.”

Mikati seized the occasion to thank the friends of Lebanon and donors who have provided assistance to the Fund, including Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, and Norway.

“I would also like to thank the United Nations, the European Union, and the World Bank who are leading these efforts within the framework of the reform, recovery, and reconstruction plan, which was launched after Beirut Port blast, and which will support Lebanon on its way to recovery,” Mikati added.

“These two projects, titled: ‘Rehabilitation of Housing in Beirut, and Social Recovery Projects’ will support the rehabilitation of many damaged buildings of heritage value and provide the urgent needs of the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, people with special needs, and others,” the PM explained.

“I hope that this fund will turn into a model for cooperation with all our international partners, who support us in addressing the social and economic needs of the Lebanese people. I would like to commend the important role of civil society that endeavors to implement these delicate projects. Those organizations will remain a source of strength for Lebanon, especially under the circumstances that the country is experiencing,” Mikati concluded.

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