The Beirut Housing Rehabilitation and Cultural and Creative Industries Recovery (BERYT) project, initiated in response to the devastating explosion at the Port of Beirut in August 2020, aims to restore severely damaged residential buildings of heritage significance and support creative entities in the affected areas. The project emphasizes the role of capacity building, contractor compliance, and institutional capacity building to ensure successful implementation and adherence to environmental and social standards.


On 4 August 2020, a massive explosion occurred at the Port of Beirut, killing 218 people, injuring around 7,000, displacing around 300,000 persons and causing widespread damage within a radius of 5 km from the explosion epicenter. Rmeil, Achrafieh, Medawar and Saifi cadasters located within a radius of 2 km were the most affected areas. Lebanon was already experiencing compounded crises – with the Syrian refugee crises, the political, economic and financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this context, the Beirut Housing Rehabilitation and Cultural and Creative Industries Recovery (P176577) – BERYT project was launched in February 2022. Implemented by UN-Habitat and funded by the World Bank and administered by the Lebanon Financing Facility (LFF), the project will support the reconstruction/ rehabilitation of a number of severely damaged residential buildings of heritage value of the explosion-affected area, including 160 housing units and around 560 beneficiaries. It will also provide emergency support to affected creative entities and practitioners to sustain their livelihoods and recover the vibrancy and cultural identity of the area.

Objective of BERYT

The aim of BERYT project is to rehabilitate severely damaged residential buildings of heritage value and provide grants to creative and cultural actors in the areas most heavily affected by the Port of Beirut blast, while promoting an urban recovery approach. The rehabilitation process will encompass a range of works with potential inherent environmental and social impacts. The ESMP will provide, for each identified impact, a set of mitigation and monitoring measures to ensure compliance with the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) and to reduce it to an acceptable level. The Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs) triggered under this project – and as developed in the Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) –are:

  1. Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impact (ESS1).
  2. Labor and Working Conditions (ESS2);
  3. Resource efficiency and pollution prevention and management (ESS3);
  4. Community Health and Safety (ESS4);
  5. Cultural Heritage (ESS8) and;
  6. Stakeholder Engagement and Information Disclosure (ESS10), in addition to the General Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines (EHSGs) of the World Bank.

The rehabilitation and reconstruction activities will be undertaken by the selected contractor(s) following a call for tender. The works will include rubble removal and sorting works, excavation and foundation works, scaffolding system installation, restoring, dismantling and demolition works, masonry and wood works, concrete works, mechanical, electrical and plumbing works, roof works, wall, floor and ceiling finishes and adding the required equipment. These activities are expected to start in March 2023 and to be completed by January 2024.

The Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) of the project includes four main sections, namely the mitigation, monitoring, documentation and reporting and institutional setup and capacity building plans. ESMP also stresses that ESS and Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) experts must be hired in order to follow up on the implementation of the various plans including reporting and record keeping activities and regular training of the workforce under clear and qualitative supervision. It equally stresses that the ESMP should be included in the tender documents of the contractor(s) so that they would take its requirements into account in their financial offers. Also, the agreement(s) with the contractor(s) should include the requirement of ESMP implementation as well as financial penalties in the event of non-compliance with its provisions.

Data and image source:
NO Comment 29th April 2024

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