June 10, 2024

The USAID-Funded Community Support Program (CSP) Facilitates Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Efforts in Barr Elias, Beqaa

Lebanon is a fragile country with a history of severe tensions and civil conflict stemming from sectarian and clan-based competition. Such tensions and conflicts have intensified during the past years due to the economic crisis and the weakening of local conflict resolution institutional structures, such as the municipalities.

In response, the Community Support Program (CSP) is implementing People-to-People (P2P) activities,  to enable social cohesion and peacefully prevent conflict in ten targeted communities (Jezzine, Aabra, Hlaliye, and Bqosta in South Lebanon; Jdita, Taalbaya, Barr Elias and El Khiara in the Beqaa, and West Tall Abbas and Ras Masqa in North Lebanon). The conflict in the village stems from a long history of unresolved power struggles between three major Lebanese families, which led to the dissolution of the municipality. Moreover, the deteriorating economic crisis and the village hosting four times its size in Syrian refugees has created more conflict stemming from competition over resources. On May 5, 2024, CSP brought together representatives from conflicting groups in Bar Elias to discuss ways to reduce tensions through developing a common vision to engage locals in finding solutions to enduring community challenges that have historically intensified local tensions and conflicts.

“This is the first time we sit together in one room to discuss our issues in a frank and open dialogue”, said Samer Hamieh, founder of the Bar Elias coordination committee following the resolution of the municipality.



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