“Water in Lebanon: Turning Current Challenges into Future Opportunities”

News and Press Release
Originally published

AUB’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs in collaboration with WAAD consortium organized a youth conference aimed at discussing Lebanon’s water future

Beirut, March 13, 2019. Ahead of World Water Day on 22 March, the EU-MADAD funded Water Access and Development (WAAD) consortium, in partnership with the American University of Beirut’s (AUB) Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI), organized a youth conference titled “Water in Lebanon: Turning Current Challenges into Future Opportunities”. The conference, which took place within IFI’s facilities, was also live-streamed within the campuses of Beirut Arab University (BAU) in Bekaa and Phoenicia University (PU) in the South, turned the conference into a national event, as access to water is a collective problem that needs a collective solution.

Participants from AUB, BAU, PU and Balamand Universities, and industry experts, the conference encouraged the next generation to focus their studies and careers on the water and environmental sector in order to turn Lebanon’s problems into solutions. The conference focused on energy and water policy, featured various private and public actors who are involved in water management as well as Mr. Michele Pierpaoli – Attache’ for Water and Waste Water Affairs from the European Union Delegation to Lebanon. The final panel concentrated on various private venture success stories such as Clean2o and Talaya Water that focused on fruitful initiatives and growth opportunities both within Lebanon and abroad.

The Conference assessed the major water challenges in Lebanon, explored innovative solutions, future opportunities, and identified potential new job opportunities. It also provided an open discussion and knowledge-sharing platform for researchers, executives, policymakers, financial institutions and international donors.

World Water Day draws attention to the importance of fresh water conservation and its sustainable management. This year’s edition “Leaving no one behind” is linked to the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) which includes a target to ensure availability and sustainability of water and sanitation to all. Water is vital for creating jobs, supporting economic, social and human development and affects all people.

The EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis 'MADAD ' is providing its support to the Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector across Lebanon by awarding WAAD (Water Access and Development) consortium a fund of about 8million USD to improve water and wastewater services across Lebanon. The consortium is comprised of three international humanitarian non-governmental organizations (INGOs), ACTED, Action Against Hunger and INTERSOS, which have significant experience in implementing WASH interventions in Lebanon.

Lebanon’s overstretched water sector is a result of decades of under-investment policies, withering infrastructure, local population growth, and the drastic influx of displaced Syrians, which has resulted in a 30% increase in the number of individuals’ in-country who require access to safe water. With the aim of ensuring humanitarian assistance, sustaining development and the fostering of social cohesion, the EU Regional Trust Fund ‘MADAD’ has provided funding to the sector to alleviate Lebanon’s water matters and ensure that both local and displaced populations are able to respond to their basic human needs.

For Press Enquiries

For any press enquiries please contact Suzanne Houssari, Communications Manager at the AUB Issam Fares Institute via se97@aub.edu.lb

For further information or to request an interview contact:

Action Against Hunger Lamis Flaha +961 3 503 568 lflaha@lb.acfspain.org

INTERSOS Tania Tarraf +961 76-783370 Deputy.swm.lebanon@intersos.org

ACTED Joseph Nassar +961 79-300838 joseph.nassar@acted.org

EU Regional Trust Fund Michele Pierpaoli - Attaché – Water & Wastewater Affairs - Economy and Local Development Section Email: michele.pierpaoli@eeas.europa.eu