USAID Celebrates the Achievements of its Community Support Program

USAID Celebrates the Achievements of its Community Support Program

At Notre Dame University-Louaize, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated the impact of its Community Support Program (CSP), which has provided local development assistance to more than 746,000 people across 180 communities in Lebanon over six years (2018-2024). This support comes as local municipalities and communities are bearing a particularly heavy toll in trying to provide much-needed public services like water and household electricity against the backdrop of Lebanon’s deepening economic crisis. Today’s ceremony celebrates the culmination of more than 102 community projects worth more than $13.8 million in USAID funding to improve livelihoods in underserved communities. The completion ceremony was attended by USAID Lebanon Local Development Office Director Mark Wilt, the Acting Director General of Local Authorities and Municipalities at the Ministry of Interior Faten Abou El Hassan, governors, and other local entities.

Over six years, USAID has made investments in solar to power water systems, electricity, and street lights, providing a reliable supply of services to entire villages; investments in recycling to combat Lebanon’s decades-old waste management issues; and supporting agricultural cooperatives with rehabilitated space and new equipment; and much more.

In his remarks, the USAID Lebanon Local Development Office Director stated “The United States and Lebanon share the vision that quality essential services like clean water, livelihood support, solid waste management, back-up electricity, education, and health are critical to a country’s economic stability and security. The efforts by USAID and our local partners have laid a strong foundation for more than 746,000 people who have so far benefited from improved public services. This is equivalent to more than 12% of the population in Lebanon. These results are a cause for hope and celebration, particularly as Lebanese municipalities and communities have faced harsh realities in recent years.”

In response to diesel fuel shortages and decreased reliability of state-provided electricity, CSP assisted 23 communities with solar-powered solutions to ensure sustainable access to water, household electricity, and street lighting. These projects combined to generate 2.74 megawatts in renewable energy for more than 435,000 residents. CSP assisted another 27 communities with water, wastewater, and irrigation network upgrades, while CSP’s investments in recyclables waste management provided improved waste management services for 360,000 residents across 60 communities.

Other notable achievements include workspace rehabilitation and equipment provision for nine agricultural cooperatives and more than 2,288 cash-for-work opportunities that included emergency response rubble removal following the 2020 Beirut port blast and forest clearing following wildfires. With a focus on inclusion, CSP also worked with local NGOs and the private sector to place 135 people with disabilities in part-time jobs, 12 of whom transitioned to full-time employment. CSP also partnered with 11 Lebanese universities on an internship program to help youth overcome barriers to employment. So far, 256 students and recent graduates have completed their internships and 96 have found permanent jobs.

To ensure the sustainability of its local development projects, CSP trained more than 3,700 community members and strengthened the capacities of 128 local partners on the safe operation and maintenance of provided equipment and on institutional capacity building aspects. CSP also implemented a range of community-led awareness campaigns on water conservation and sorting recyclables at source, reaching more than 31,000 people. CSP also trained partner municipalities on developing proposals for donor funding and diaspora support, which resulted in raising more than $350,000 in community, private sector, and international donor contributions to support public services.