Creating livelihoods for women and young people

Project description

Title: Local Development Programme for Deprived Urban Areas in North Lebanon (UDP_NL)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union
Country: Lebanon
Lead executing agency: Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA)
Overall term: 2017 to 2021



The governorate of North Lebanon is characterised by low economic growth, high unemployment and the highest poverty rates in the country. Women are particularly affected. The local economy is not dynamic. An already fragile situation is further strained by a large number of Syrian refugees, leading to competition in the provision of public services and on the labour market for unskilled workers. On top of this, living conditions in urban areas continue to deteriorate due to uncontrolled urban growth, decaying infrastructure and a lack of leisure opportunities. The unfavourable socio-economic conditions, lack of opportunities for personal development and lack of social values, especially among younger population groups, exacerbate social tensions between communities and create a breeding ground for conflict.


The socio-economic conditions of young people and women in disadvantaged urban areas of North Lebanon have improved.


The German Government and the European Union (EU), which are cofinancing the programme, are working together to strengthen the host communities in Lebanon that are particularly affected by the challenges of the Syria crisis.

The programme promotes measures to boost incomes and employment, to establish and maintain infrastructure, and to strengthen relations between ethnic and religious communities to an equal extent. It does this in close collaboration with local municipalities, aiming to implement activities effectively in the long term. The programme also draws on the (regional) specialist knowledge of national and international partner organisations and gets the general public involved in its measures. This increases acceptance of the measures. In addition, the programme supports selected partner organisations in developing organisational capabilities and management skills.

Aiming to improve relations between the various communities, the programme uses the Sport for Development and Art for Development  approaches. It thus promotes athletic ability and creative skills, while at the same time imparting life skills that help people handle difficult situations and develop future prospects.

The programme is part of a campaign to boost employment in the Middle East, under the special initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) on tackling the root causes of displacement and reintegrating refugees. With the projects under this special initiative, the Ministry contributes towards creating social and economic prospects for people so that they can regain control of their lives.


  • In the first cash-for-work project, 120 women and men, including Syrian and Lebanese nationals, have given their city a new, artistic look. These people have received payment in cash for the work they have done.

  • With a view to improving the employment and income situation for Lebanese people who come from disadvantaged communities, various technical discussions have been held with experts from the private sector, non-governmental organisations and communities. This has made it possible to identify the need for as well as providers of vocational training courses, seminars and advisory programmes for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and for business start-ups in selected branches of the economy.

  • Exchange between different youth groups is promoted, for example by means of the newly established Nagham choir. This youth choir has already performed successfully for a large audience.


Further information