Lebanon

Lebanon has a strategic location; it is often seen as the opening to the middle east. Its terrain allows trade with its various ports, and it has a track record of internal tourism and is known to be a touristic destination for foreigners. Prior to 2019, around 2 million tourists entered Lebanon annually.

Since 2019, Lebanon has been facing slow economic growth for years and several long- term structural weaknesses such as weak infrastructure, poor service delivery, and institutional corruption. Its fiscal deficits have increased debt-to-GDP ratio. Moreover, its current estimated unemployment rate is 6.70 %, with 82% of its population living in poverty.
about Lebanon

Country Facts 

  • Area: 10452 km²
  • Population: 6 million
  • Capital: Beirut

Swisscontact in LEBANON

  • since 2019
Country Director Lebanon
Hassan Bugnard

Our approach

Swisscontact in Lebanon and its region invests in assessing the relevant sectors where development is needed, it then assesses local and national partners and their capabilities in order to streamline implementation through them, capitalizing on every partners’ strengths in specific areas and building up their capacities.

SC also offers expert services, project solutions, project designs, and execution at the local and regional levels aimed at achieving the highest developmental impact.

  • We offer Economic nexus programme designs
  • We offer project impact and development optimization
  • We offer backstopping services such as risk assessments, resource management, and partner capacity building.

Current assessment

Working in an Economic Nexus context requires an investment in knowledge of local and national dynamics and opportunities. In order to participate in the development of sustainable responses, Swisscontact conducts research to understand what the key areas are and seeks serious partners with coherent actions to outline local based solutions.

Our expertise

Entrepreneurial ecosystem

In the middle east, most SMEs are micro and small enterprises. They constitute 80% of the labour market and face financial and non-financial barriers to growth.  

The entrepreneurial ecosystem was developed to maintain existing jobs, create new jobs, and allows MSEs to generate income.

Labour market insertion

Marginalized segments of society face obstacles to labour market insertion.  

These obstacles range from the lack of market opportunities, mismatches of supply of skills and demand of skills, and the lack of skills, and other institutional barriers for particular communities.  

As such, our skills development approach not only addresses the skills element in the form of VET, coaching, and upskilling, but also other barriers to entry.

Sustainable agriculture

After analysing the market dynamics and technical elements of the Lebanese agriculture sector, Swissontact chose to support national stakeholders in distribution of fresh produce, the establishment of alternative and renewable energy sources, and the diversification of their sources of income.

Our Interventions

Employment Support
Our employment support is a labour market insertion intervention area aimed at offering marginalized Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian youth the global coaching for employment coaching cycle product alongside employment office services to increase youths’ chances of employment.
Business Center/Business HUB
Swisscontact in Lebanon developed a set of digital solutions SMEs can offer their microservices, access new markets, gain exposure. Additionally, we work on developing their technical capacities by developing their skills in key areas. These businesses are also linked with youth from the employment support, offering them internships and, when possible, employment opportunities.
Agriculture
Our current collaboration with ICRC in Akkar is in sustainable agriculture, specifically on developing locally grown feed substitutes to replace the costly imported livestock feed. This intervention is coupled with alternative energy projects. In other regions such as the Bekaa, Swisscontact has partnered with local stakeholders to establish agri-business hubs, which will support growers and producers to maximise their income through optimization and diversification.
Re-Suite
We currently works with Arcenciel, a renowned NGO in recycling and agriculture on textile upcycling. Arcenciel has its pre-existing upcycling and collection facilities and Swisscontact is offering its technical expertise from logistics, trainings, to the value chain facilitation.
Lebanon
Initial vocational education and training
TAFAWOQ - Youth employment and skills
The Tafawoq project initially started off as a Coaching for Employment and Entrepreneurship project. Due to the economic crisis in Lebanon, assessments were done on the local contextual needs so we could increase the impact and guarantee labour market insertion. Some of these assessments included the weakened economy’s ability to take in an additional supply of skills, data analysis on the youth target groups, market demand, and how to offset the disadvantages marginalized youth face, all of which constitute barriers to labour market entry.

As a result, the overall project was adapted into an ecosystem project that targets income generation activities that are interlinked. It enables marginalized youth to access labour market insertion opportunities, offers MSEs in various sectors solutions and support to access new markets and develop their capacities, and integrates a circular economy for textile upcycling. Local businesses form the backbone of the economy from the construction sectors to the textile sectors, supporting these businesses is bridged with the youth project whereby youth are connected to local businesses and presented with opportunities.
TEAM
Our team members in Lebanon

Contact

Dekweneh, Building PG1776 Actel, Beirut