Following the Port of Beirut explosion on August 4, 2020, the World Bank Group, the European Union and the United Nations developed the Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework (3RF) in order to address Lebanon's immediate- and short-term needs.

The 3RF provides a costed and prioritized framework of key actions needed to support recovery and reconstruction efforts in Lebanon. It aims to ‘build back better’ through an integrated approach focused on people-centered recovery, preparing the ground for medium-term reconstruction, and initiating key structural reforms, based on the principles of transparency, inclusion, and accountability.

The 3RF includes a financing strategy that acknowledges the critical role that grant resources will need to play in bridging the gap between immediate humanitarian assistance and future financing for reconstruction. The 3RF also proposes a new Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF) to pool grant resources and strengthen coherence and coordination of financing. The LFF is one (but not the only) instrument to channel support to selected priorities under the 3RF. The LFF will focus on supporting the 3RF’s recovery track and reform or institutional strengthening measures. 

The Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF) is a multi-donor trust fund established by the World Bank in close cooperation with the United Nations and the European Union, and with support from key donors.
Its objective is to kickstart the socio-economic recovery of vulnerable populations and businesses affected by the Port of Beirut explosion and to support the Government of Lebanon prepare for recovery and reconstruction.

The LFF will prioritize its activities under three main areas of focus, namely:

  • Socioeconomic and Business Recovery: This focus area will address urgent recovery priorities of vulnerable communities and businesses in Beirut. Examples of socioeconomic recovery activities include delivery of social welfare services (e.g. mental health), urgent environmental interventions and the rehabilitation of small-scale urban infrastructure. A dedicated program will support business recovery and provide grant financing and technical assistance to eligible MSMEs. 
  • Preparing for Reform and Reconstruction: This focus area will support the design and implementation of targeted governance, business environment and social sector reforms that are critical for building citizen trust in state institutions. Support will also be provided to prepare for cost-intensive medium-term reconstruction of the Port of Beirut and affected neighborhoods through technical analysis, development of action plans, design support of public/private financing solution in the port, housing and/or cultural heritage sector.
  • Coordination, Monitoring, Accountability and Oversight: This focus area will strengthen the capacity and institutional arrangements for multi-stakeholder dialogue, coordination and monitoring foreseen under the 3RF. Examples include support for establishing the proposed independent oversight body, strengthening citizen engagement and third-party monitoring

The World Bank convened on April 30th the first meeting of the Partnership Council for the Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF) to discuss the priorities, proposed funding allocations and priority projects for the LFF’s first year of operation, and endorsed a work plan with a total allocation of approximately US$55 million. The meeting gathered representatives from the Government of Lebanon, the LFF donor members: Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France and Germany, civil society organizations representing the 3RF Consultative Group: Lebanon Humanitarian and Development Forum (LHDF); KAFA, Green Mind, and the UN.

The approved LFF work plan includes four key recovery projects: 1) Supporting Immediate Social Recovery Needs of vulnerable groups affected by the explosion with a focus on gender-based violence, psychosocial support and care for the disabled and the elderly; 2) Environmental Recovery, Restoration and Waste Management to remove critical hazardous waste inside and outside the Port of Beirut; 3) Beirut Housing Reconstruction and Cultural Heritage and Creative Industries Recovery – to support the rehabilitation of cultural heritage residential buildings and access to sustainable housing solutions for vulnerable households directly affected by the explosion, and revitalize cultural production in Beirut; and 4) Building Beirut Businesses Back Better (B5) to support the recovery of targeted MSMEs and sustain the operations of eligible microfinance institutions (MFIs). The work plan also comprises governance activities that lay the groundwork for reconstruction with integrity and transparency and prepare a roadmap for Lebanon’s port sector reform. Finally, the work plan also comprises activities to operationalize the 3RF through the establishment of an Independent Oversight Board led by the civil society, citizen engagement initiatives that prioritize participation and inclusiveness, and support to 3RF monitoring and communications activities.

In line with the guiding principles of the 3RF, projects approved under the LFF will adopt innovative and flexible implementation modalities through the provision of direct support to capable non-government organizations and civil society organizations as well as to private sector intermediaries to reach affected  MSMEs.

Original sources:

NO Comment 11th May 2021

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