Lebanon—Economic Reform and Infrastructure Investment Programme (LERII)

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2020-2024

Region: Middle East and North Africa

Country: Lebanon

Solutions: Economic Growth Governance

Lebanon is at a critical moment of its modern history—its economy is in crisis and its citizens are increasingly unsatisfied. It is facing a fiscal crisis with an increasing budget deficit of 11 percent of GDP and current account deficit of 25 percent of GDP in 2018, combined with the third highest gross public debt in the world. Fiscal pressures are reflected in the lack of and low quality of public goods and services—infrastructure for electricity, water, waste and transport, particularly impacting vulnerable Lebanese people and affecting businesses severely. Low performance of the public sector, the lack of accountability in the management of resources and corruption have further exacerbated this vicious cycle.

Resilience, stability, and prosperity will be critical for Lebanese citizens, but is also critical in the context of a wider increasingly destabilising region. In response, the Government of Lebanon has set out an economic reform vision and Capital Investment Plan identifying critical investments that will enable and accelerate growth and investment, providing employment opportunities for host communities and Syrian refugees.

Awarded under the U.K. Department for International Development’s General Economic Development Framework, LERII assists the Lebanese government in implementing these key economic reforms, reaches agreement on the construction of key donor-financed infrastructure projects, and ensures that such projects are successfully built and operated. A more sustainable and higher growth economy, accompanied by infrastructure investments, has the potential to significantly improve poor people’s lives, including girls and women and the large number of refugees currently in Lebanon.

With our partners, the Lebanese Economic Association, Economic Consulting Associates, Lebanese Earth Link & Advance Resources Development, and The Policy Practice, DAI provides technical assistance to the government ministries and agencies charged with planning and delivering infrastructure and economic reforms. This demand-driven assistance focuses on problems identified directly by the Lebanese government, such that national stakeholders are engaged in the solutions and more likely to sustain their results.

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Sample Activities

  • Employ a problem-driven and strategic approach to identify reform priorities where genuine traction for reform lies and in response to specific government requests.
  • Ensure national ownership and alignment with partners and the Government of Lebanon’s national reform agenda.
  • Design a methodology for real-time monitoring and rapid feedback loops based on an understanding of the barriers faced by groups participating in supported initiatives to accessing information and providing feedback.
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