BEIRUT: The Interior Ministry launched Thursday a 20 million euro ($24.4 million) European Union-funded project to support financial reform at municipalities. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said the plan would increase administrative and financial capacities for small municipalities. He said the project would contribute to the achievement of more balanced economic growth and would support his ministry’s efforts for realizing administrative decentralization. Head of the EU delegation Angelina Eichhorst said the project targets 70 percent of Lebanese municipalities that face significant challenges in attracting investments and offering adequate public services. Eichhorst said the EU would continue to support the Interior Ministry in reinforcing local governance. “During the past decade, the EU invested 50 million Euros in building the capacities of municipalities,” she said. According to the EU delegation to Lebanon’s website, the project will create a fund for various development activities to be implemented by municipal unions.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 13, 2012, on page 5.