CSP Launches the “Diaspora Support to Local Communities” Pilot in Ain Ebel
For the past few decades, the Lebanese diaspora have been playing a key role in supporting their families still residing in Lebanon with much-needed financial assistance, in addition to providing essential items such as food and medication. Estimated at over $6 billion per year, the diaspora’s support has been especially crucial since the beginning of the economic crisis. USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) is capitalizing on existing diaspora support networks by working with the communities of Ain Ebel, Amioun, Bechmezzine and the Hasbani Union of Municipalities to contribute to local livelihoods and enhance public services. On February 11, 2023, eleven representatives from Ain Ebel community and municipality and Activists Working for Ain Ebel (a local non-governmental organization) attended the launch of the proposal writing phase of CSP’s “Diaspora Support to Local Communities” technical assistance. Attendees discussed topics which will serve collaboration with the Diaspora, including how to structure memoranda of understanding, good governance systems, and financial management mechanisms. Attendees also learned how to draft and communicate the community’s needs to appeal to the diaspora and facilitate additional funding.
“Donations from the diaspora were limited to social activities and sports. Our main weakness was our inability to manage fundraising campaigns and implement development and livelihood projects. Thanks to USAID’s CSP, we will be able to enhance our skills and work with the diaspora to fund solutions to local problems,” said Oumaya Diab, Head of the Ain Ebel Youth Club.