On Thursday July 23rd 2020, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, together with a delegation including H.E. Bruno Foucher, French Ambassador to Lebanon, and representatives of various institutions including the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and the French Agency for Development (AFD), visited Amel Association International (Amel) center located in Haret Hreik. The delegation was welcomed by Dr Kamel Mohanna, President of Amel Association and General Coordinator of the Lebanese and Arab NGOs Networks.
While visiting the center, the Minister and the delegation gained an overview of the health, education, protection and vocational training activities implemented by Amel. Many individuals, accessing Amel’s activities, were able to express their concerns regarding the multiple crises impacting Lebanon and its socio-economic impacts. The visit also enabled the populations served by Amel to highlight their involvement in innovative aspects of the projects, including online learning in the sectors of education, training and protection.
The different partners supporting Amel in implementing its activities in this centre were also highlighted and include the AFD, in the sectors of social cohesion and health, as well as the German NGO Medico International, with the support of GFFO and BMZ in the health sector, UNHCR for the protection, FPF and the Belgium Ministry of Foreign Affairs for education, and SSI (with the support of the DCI – Monaco) for the Protection Mobile Unit.
During the discussions with the delegation, Dr Kamel Mohanna reminded them that it was essential to strengthen actions of solidarity with Lebanon, to have emergency and development programs, whilst working to ensure access to a sustainable social protection framework for all. He also noted the important work led by Amel within the framework of the association’s comprehensive plan of response to the crises, including the support to the COVID-19 call center, the epidemiological surveillance unit teams of MOPH, PCR test campaigns, food distribution as well as prevention and case management of GBV cases.
Finally, based on the different testimonies from Lebanese and refugees shared with the Minister, Dr Kamel Mohanna concluded the visit and reminded the extreme gravity of the situation in Lebanon, noting that international solidarity is essential to ensure dignity for all.