The USAID-funded Community Support Program helps the Communities of Ain Ebel, Amioun and Bechmezzine launch the “Lebanese American Diaspora Action for Lebanon
For the past few decades and amidst recurrent crises, the Lebanese diaspora has played a key role in supporting their families and communities in Lebanon to survive turbulent economic and security situations. Estimated at more than $6.2 billion per year, diaspora support has become even more critical since the onset of the economic crisis in 2019. As municipalities continue to face severe financial constraints in maintaining the provision of essential public services, USAID’s Community Support Program (CSP) worked to strengthen the capacities of Ain Ebel, Amioun, and Bechmezzine municipalities to attract diaspora support for needed community interventions.
By end of 2023, the three communities were able to raise $81,000 in diaspora assistance; $41,000 was allocated to improve water and electricity provision, while $40,000 was allocated to support households in Ain Ebel impacted by the southern border hostilities since October 2023. To build on this initiative, on January 25, 2024, CSP helped Ain Ebel, Bechmezzine, and Amioun municipalities launch an “American Lebanese Diaspora Action for Lebanon” platform in collaboration with the Rene Mouawad Foundation (RMF). The platform aims to encourage Lebanese-American corporate or individual charity contributions by making use of U.S. tax exemptions. The launch was attended by 11 municipal and community representatives from Bechmezzine, Ain Ebel, and Amioun to discuss the platform’s legal framework and contribution processes.
“This transparent initiative is very helpful for us and the diaspora and will secure a significant source of funding for our communities, enabling us to implement essential projects and facilitate investments across our villages,” said Nizam Ghantous, member of Amioun municipality.