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UNFPA Lebanon recently initiated the implementation of the gender component within the approved MDG-F on “Conflict Prevention and Peace Building in North Lebanon”. A project manager, M. Karam Abi Yazbeck was recruited in April for this purpose and work has been underway since. Several UN agencies (UNDP, UNRWA, UNICEF, ILO, UNESCO and UNFPA), are involved in this two-year joint programme funded by the Spanish Government through the Millennium Development Goals Fund (MDGF). The implementation of the various activities will be entrusted to numerous governmental counterparts and an array of local partners from civil society groups. 

The joint programme targets both the Lebanese and the Palestinian communities in the North mainly in the areas of Nahr El Bared and Beddawi camps and surroundings, Jabal Mohsen and Bab el Tabbaneh, and the marginalized communities in Akkar and other Palestinian camps. It focuses on facilitating the resolution of communal tensions between Palestinian and Lebanese communities, the implementation of equitable socio-economic development interventions and the promotion of youth and women’s empowerment through active participation in local level development and peace building. 
UNFPA Lebanon was entrusted with the “women empowerment and gender component” of this programme. Its actions primarily consist of establishing women committees in 8 selected communities; empowering women in decision making and local development; raising awareness on reproductive health and gender based violence; supporting the development of a local strategy to promote micro and small enterprises among women; conducting qualitative and operation research on community’s perception vis-à-vis women’s needs, empowerment, and participation in decision making; as well as providing vocational training for women.