Conference - From Tripoli to all Lebanon: Revival & Development
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Under the patronage of Prime Minister Hariri and in the presence of interested parties
Safadi Foundation held its conference
“From Tripoli to all Lebanon – Revival and Development”
Hariri: Tripoli will boost the economy and the development in all Lebanon, especially in the North and the deprived areas.
Safadi: To block any terrorist scheme that seeks to infiltrate the minds of the youth
Through training and helping them obtain employment opportunities
Under the patronage and in the presence of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Safadi Foudation held its development conference “From Tripoli to all Lebanon – Revival and Development”, at the Grand Serail. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Ghassan Hasbani, attended the conference along with: the Minister of Education and Higher Education Marwan Hamada, Minister of Labor Mohammed Kabbara, Minister of Social Affairs Pierre Bou Assi, the Ambassador of Kuwait-Dean of Arab Ambassadors Abdelaal Sleiman al-Kinaii, Ambassador of Turkey Ça?atay Erciyes, Ambassador of the Netherlands Han-Maurits Schaapveld, Coordinator of the UN and resident Representative of the UNDP in Lebanon Philippe Lazzarini, Regional Director of the UNDP Office Luca Randa, the President of Kafalat Foundation Dr. Khater Abou Habib, President of Safadi Foundation Mohammed Safadi, Deputy Mayor of Tripoli Khaled al-Wali, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture of Tripoli and the North of Lebanon Toufic Dabbousi, and representatives of the Embassies of the United States, Canada, European Union, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Arab Emirates, and representatives of international organizations, the private sector and banks.
Following the running of the film “Zawarib Tarablos al-Qadima”, as well as the welcoming speech of the Project’s Coordinator Mrs Amal Elias Sleiman, Prime Minister Hariri indicated that “today’s conference would not have been achieved without the diligent work of Safadi Foundation. That work lasted more than a year through scanning the basic needs and both the social and educational situations in one of the poorest areas in Tripoli”.
He also considered that “the importance of this program lies in its completion with the people themselves and with the concerned ministries and schools in the region of old Tripoli”. He added that “this program does not only provide an inclusive survey of the situation, but it also proposes a collection of development projects and programs to be implemented, as it is no longer sufficient, not in Tripoli nor in any area in Lebanon, to only conduct studies and enumerate the problems. It is necessary to set solutions, projects and programs to address the problems, and to invite everyone, from the civil society to the state and the private sector to participate in implementing them”. Hariri affirmed that “work will be achieved to complete the infrastructure, roads and circular highways projects in the east and west, and to continue operating to launch the Renee Mouawad Airprot, a railway in the north, the special economic zone, and to improve the port, activate the fair, reaching the academy of the Lebanese University”.
Hariri then said that “this work is all based on the strategic view of Tripoli’s future role in the reconstruction in Syria and Iraq”. He expressed his conviction that “Tripoli and all the North will boost the economy and the development in all Lebanon, especially in the North and the deprived areas”, considering that “the actual objective is to provide employment opportunities, especially for the youth”.
After presenting a summary of Tripoli’s history, starting from “the stage of prosperity that the city has witnessed, until the stage of rock bottom it reached as a result of accumulations of successive policies since the beginning of the twentieth century, which led to the marginalization of the city of Tripoli”, Safadi considered that “this conference constitutes the foundation to the beginning of removing titles that are not suitable for the city. It will grant Tripoli the right to cede the title of “the poorest city on the Mediterranean Sea”, according to the World Bank rankings. The State will care for the youth of the city in order to rebut the status of “terrorism” related to the city”.
Safadi also viewed that “this gathering aims at inviting everyone from the official and private sectors to the international organizations, as well as all the interested parties to block any terrorist scheme that seeks to infiltrate the minds of the youth, and to attempt together to fight extremism with openness through training and helping the youth obtain employment opportunities. This will thus help provide suitable health conditions to every underprivileged individual in Tripoli, to live in dignity, and transform miserable homes into homes with minimum health and social components, in addition to fighting school dropout and child labor”.
He then indicated that “Safadi Foundation has conducted a diagnosis study on Old Tripoli and its 30,000 citizens, and it is the neediest amongst all the areas of Tripoli, and which was once the beating heart of Tripoli, on all levels. The study was conducted in order to revive that heart and thus revive all seven surrounding areas”.
Safadi explained that “a socio-economic participatory assessment has been conducted about this region, and concluded with results on health, education, unemployment and infrastructure. These results are today the main topic of the conference, in order to set recommendations to help bring Tripoli back to the State, restore its citizens’ reputation, and bring back to the youth the hope in the future”.
Following the opening session, Samar Boulos, Director of the Social Development Sector at the Safadi Foundation, presented the results of the socio-economic participatory assessment conducted by the Foundation about Old Tripoli. The ministers participated in interventions, through which they affirmed their cooperation with the Foundation and all the partners, to implement with available means the proposed projects in the fields of health, education, and economic and urban development.
As for Minister Hasbani, he affirmed “the readiness of the ministry to support primary health care centers in Lebanon and Tripoli”, while Minister Kabbara expressed “the cooperation of the ministry with the National Employment Office and the General Directorate of Vocational and Technical Learning, to establish the vocational training center, of which Safadi Foundation has already commenced the establishment”.
The Minister of Education, Marwan Hamada, considered that “supporting the education in Tripoli is the ministry’s duty”. Minister of Social Affairs assumed that his “ministry is involved in all hubs of the discussion, and is willing to cooperate in all the fields and constructive projects”.
The Ambassador of Kuwait also intervened and indicated that his “country supports the various development projects, which provide employment opportunities for young men and women in Lebanon and Tripoli. These projects also improve production and thus the economic cycle”. As for the Ambassador of Turkey, he expressed that his “country will pursue supporting Tripoli in further development projects, in coordination with Turkey’s policy of cooperation with Lebanon”.
Finally, Mrs. Violette Safadi, Director of the Program, cited the final recommendations of the conference, particularly:
First: With regards to enhancing the quality of education projects, Safadi Foundation will pursue communication with both the Ministry of Education and Higher Education as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs. Therefore, a meeting will be held, preferably prior to the Holy Month of Ramadan, in coordination between the involved parties, in order to develop an implementation plan, and accordingly to submit projects to donor and interested international organizations.
Second: To follow-up with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs, in order to develop a framework of the Primary Health Care Center, especially that there are no available hospital or health care center in the Old City of Tripoli, or in the surrounding area.
Third: In cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Education (The General Directorate of Vocational and Technical Learning), the priorities will be set regarding the empowerment of the professional skills of the youth in Old Tripoli and the surrounding area, especially that Safadi Foundation has commenced the establishment of a vocational training center. The center shall be established in cooperation with the involved and interested partners amongst the conference’s participants.
Fourth: Safadi Foundation, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the Council for Development and Reconstruction, and the UN-HABITAT, shall work to secure funding for the rehabilitation of houses based on the conducted survey to secure the minimal health and social conditions, especially that living in an unsuitable environment, individuals become vulnerable to illness firstly, and to isolation and social disintegration secondly.
Fifth: Coordinating with the Ministry of Social Affairs and all the concerned associations and organizations, in order to develop projects and programs related to urban social development. This will thus activate the role of the local committees in preserving the cultural heritage of the city, and maintaining awareness of the culture of citizenship.
Sixth: Mrs. Violette Safadi, Director of the Program “From Tripoli to all Lebanon, Revival and Development”, along with the foundation’s team, will follow up with all ministries, and local and international organizations in order to develop the proposed projects, which meet with the objectives of the conference, and thus lead to the revival of Old City of Tripoli, and all areas that are in need as well.