Beirut, 2 March 2021. UN-Habitat and the Municipality of Beirut (MoB) announced the launch of a newly established Municipal Social Cell (MSC), which aims to mitigate social and protection issues encountered by vulnerable urban host and migrant populations within the city of Beirut.
“The Municipality of Beirut hopes that the Municipal Social Cell will create a more sustainable bridge between the residents of Beirut and the Municipality of Beirut to not only provide a forum for vulnerable populations including refugees, migrants and the host community to voice their concerns, but also a dedicated platform for action to address their needs and challenges,” said Jamal Itani, Mayor of Beirut.
The MSC was established as one of the Targeted City Actions for Beirut under Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM) that aims to enhance the engagement and commitment of the Municipality of Beirut in addressing social and protection issues encountered by vulnerable populations settled within vulnerable neighbourhoods of Beirut.
“The demographically diverse context of Beirut requires a targeted approach to address the needs of different people that is evidence-based and multisectoral, the Municipal Social Cell will go directly to the community to listen to their needs and ensure coordination between all stakeholders in interventions implemented,” said Taina Christiansen, Head of UN-Habitat Country Programme in Lebanon.
The MSC is comprised of community mobilizers and social workers. The community mobilizers are responsible for liaising with representatives from local communities in the field to gather data on issues encountered by vulnerable population groups. The social workers will coordinate with community mobilizers and local communities to analyse and collect data that informs the development and implementation of capacity building and awareness raising activities and targeted actions.
“I am excited to be part of the newly established Municipal Social Cell that will play a key role in ensuring a larger scale and holistic response to varied social and protection challenges that refugees, migrants and Lebanese are facing in Beirut, to ultimately improve living conditions for all,” said Pamela Assy, Social Worker in the Municipal Social Cell.
The MSC’s main aim is to enhance the capacity of the Municipality of Beirut in managing and addressing urban migration issues by increasing municipal investments in social projects through improved access to reliable social and protection field data.
This approach will inform municipal social interventions such as building community social centres, rehabilitating public spaces, equipping health centres and schools and enhancing sanitation within the neighbourhoods to ultimately improve the well-being of vulnerable population groups.
Learn more about Beirut’s Municipal Social Cell here.
About the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries supporting people in cities and human settlements for a better urban future. Working with governments and local partners, its high impact projects combine world-class expertise and local knowledge to deliver timely and targeted solutions. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a dedicated Goal on cities, SDG 11 – to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.