Climate Change and Environment Program, May 2020
The chronic problem in the provision of water services in Lebanon has given rise to considerable financial, technical, administrative and social challenges. This has resulted in water consumers developing lack of trust in public water services leading many to refrain from paying their dues to the water establishments. Consequently, public water service providers currently operate at an annual financial deficit with low cost recovery for the services provided.
In 2016, the first Lebanon Water Forum (LWF) addressed the scope and diversity of challenges regarding water service provision in Lebanon. By tackling the major policy gaps and institutional voids, it aimed to provide contextualized recommendations pertaining to improved public services and increased cost recovery for the Regional Water Establishments (RWEs). In 2019, the LWF aimed to contribute to the support of water governance in Lebanon through discussions along three main themes: The operational aspects at the RWEs; strategic frameworks governing Lebanon's water sector and finally investment planning in Lebanon's water sector.
LWF 2019 was a result of the continued collaboration between Oxfam and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) and was hosted by IFI at the American University of Beirut (AUB). LWF 2019 comes under the framework of the project “Improving Access to Safe and Affordable Water to Vulnerable communities" part of the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syria Crisis –
The Madad Fund “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme for Syrian refugees and Lebanese Host Communities". The program is implemented by a consortium that consists of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Oxfam, World Vision International (WVI) and Gruppo di Volontario Civile (GVC).
The context of LWF 2019 was set through a keynote speech and ensuing discussions through three thematic panels:
- Keynote speech: Overview of Lebanon's water sector
- Panel 1: Operational Aspects at the Regional Water Establishments
- Panel 2: Strategic Frameworks Governing Lebanon's water sector
- Panel 3: Investment Planning in Lebanon's Water Sector
LWF 2019 was attended by more than 150 water experts, academics and governmental authorities, representing more than 58 international and local organizations.