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Britain calls for reforms in Lebanon

Britain calls for reforms in Lebanon

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Elaf from London: A senior British Foreign Office official held talks with senior Lebanese officials, local experts and international partners and visited UK-funded projects in support of the most vulnerable groups in Lebanon.
During his two-day visit over the weekend, Stephen Hickey, Director of Middle East and North Africa Affairs at the British Foreign and Development Office, met with British Ambassador to Lebanon Dr. Ian Collard, Prime Minister Najib Mikoti and the Foreign Minister. Abdullah Bou Habib in the caretaker government. The talks focused on the country’s recent developments and Britain’s support for the Lebanese people.

Beirut Cafe
He met with a group of young people from the marginalized areas of Tripoli and Beirut, Café (Hana Beirut), an initiative of the March Lebanese voluntary charity UK-funded by the Stability, Security and Conflict Resolution Fund. The program has contributed to transforming their future into agents of change and providing community service programs through skills training, professional skill development and psychological support.
Mr. Hickey also met with senior partners in the development and humanitarian affairs of NGOs and donors working in Lebanon, giving him an overview of the serious challenges across the country and their impact on particularly vulnerable communities. He held a meeting with alumni of the prestigious Sevens Scholarship Program.

The economic crisis
At the end of his journey, Mr. Hickey said: “I have come at a time when Lebanon is in the throes of an unprecedented economic crisis that is greatly affecting its people. What needs to be done is clear. The Lebanese leadership must act immediately to implement urgent reforms, including a deal with the International Monetary Fund. The UK is ready to help but first we need to look at the actions of Lebanese politicians. Without this, Lebanon will not be able to stand on its own two feet and regain the confidence of the international community.
The Director of Middle East and North Africa Affairs of the British Foreign and Development Office concluded: “I am proud to meet a group of Seven Scholarship alumni who have been doing amazing work in various fields for their country. At Hona Beirut Café, it was rewarding to hear the positive impact of our project on the lives of young people and their fears, aspirations and beliefs about a better Lebanon. The UK will be friendly to the Lebanese people, especially the most vulnerable people, including refugees.

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