Assessing the Challenges and Opportunities of Vulnerable Municipalities on the Frontlines of Lebanon’s Syrian Refugee Crisis
The dramatic increase of population in Lebanon’s North, South and Bekaa regions, as a result of the Syrian refugee crisis, has placed extraordinary pressure on municipalities who were already struggling to provide basic services to their residents before the crisis. In some cases the populations of municipalities have doubled as a result of the refugee communities. Municipal staff are challenged, daily, with the simultaneous tasks of providing services to their constituents with scarce resources while also remedying the rapid and new development tasks associated with the incoming refugees. In January and February, 2018, we met with leadership from 6 municipalities, central government ministries, and a wide range of stakeholders to assess the municipal capacity challenges and opportunities for investment. This assessment was used to inform a program solution design proposed to an international donor.