The Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training (LOST) has recently launched its “Strategy 2014-2017” at a press conference at LOST’s headquarters in Baalbeck in the presence of key stakeholders in the region; Colonel Hussain Doaybes representing the leader of the Lebanese Army, Leading committee member of Amal Movement and President of the Islamic University Brigadier-General Abbas Nasrallah, Baalbeck catholic Pastor Bishop Ilias Rahal, Baalbeck Hermel Mufti Khaled Solh, and stakeholders attended the event.
After the initiation through the Lebanese anthem, Head of LOST Dr. Ramy Lakkis indicated that “Our 3-year strategy is a one of conflict resolution and problem solving. It works on increasing communication and linkages between LOST and the public service ministries to create the best partnership possible between the private and public sector. It also focuses on extensively conducting local needs assessments, publicizing them to put the issues of underprivileged and deprived areas on the national agenda, and orienting the national and international programs towards supporting the host community in all humanitarian projects dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis”.
Dr. Lakkis went on to say “The direct implications of this strategy promotes civil peace, empowers activists in the field of civil peace building, creates linkages and coordination between local and national actors working on governance, and develops implementation mechanisms through continued political awareness”. “Tackling the issue of good governance is addressing the performance of administrative, political, and municipal foundations as well as performance of their fellow citizens”.
Dr. Lakkis also added that “There exists a weakness in the local political culture exacerbated by the indiscriminately poor performance of local and national authorities. These two factors reflect negatively on the quality of services offered by these authorities causing bad repercussions on the quality of life. The strategy clearly stresses the need to improve and evolve the support of municipal work through increasing women and youth participation in the political arena and evolving the capabilities of local communities to respond to the problems of society through research and studies thus increasing potential of leadership, management and strategic planning.
This strategy also highlights the urgency of implementing livelihood and reduction of poverty programs for the hosting communities to reinforce resiliency that degraded due to the influx of refugees from Syria, which increased competition with the local labor force, overloaded the poor infrastructure, and jeopardized security. This calls for intensive work on supporting domestic production reaching the most needy Lebanese families affected by the Syrian crisis, supporting small income-generating and agricultural projects, building the capacity of local farmers, and providing funding opportunities for small businesses or even funding new ones through LOST’s new Micro Credit Unit”.
Dr. Lakkis continued by saying “The strategy takes great consideration of Human Rights which leads to Social justice. An acute lack of knowledge in Human Rights among vast stakes of society and the government’s apathy toward the relation between rights and social justice can obviously be spotted. The new strategy dictates working towards people enjoying their basic rights thus constructing a rather fairer social, economic and political structure. This is achieved through executing diverse programs that enhance Social protection designed by International Organizations, conducting awareness campaigns dealing with Reproductive Health, Nutrition and life skills in addition to working on diminishing the phenomenon of stateless and Non-Registered citizens by persuading authorities to recognize the importance of solving this problem.”