UNESCO sends mission to determine how it can help Lebanon’s early recovery effortsFour UNESCO experts today begin a five-day mission in Lebanon where they will meet Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and members of his government to determine how the Organization will help the country’s early recovery efforts.
“In view of the situation in the field, it is now possible for UNESCO to start assisting Lebanon in its early recovery efforts, particularly with regard to cultural heritage and education,” announced the Director-General of UNESCO, Koďchiro Matsuura.
The mission will visit some of the country’s World Heritage sites including Byblos, which has been affected by the oil spill from a power station that was hit by bombs in mid-July. Cultural heritage will be among the main topics on the agenda of a meeting with Lebanese Culture Minister Tarek Mitri.
Lebanon’s educational needs will be discussed in a meeting with Education Minister Khaled Kabbani. UNESCO is expecting to focus its assistance on restoring the educational system and post-trauma support for school children and teachers alike.
The Director-General also announced that two follow-up missions will be sent at a later date: one mission will focus on a wide range of cultural issues and another, intersectoral mission will assess needs in education, science and communication.
The Lebanese government-led early recovery plan will be presented to an international donors’ conference for Lebanon in Sweden on 31 August.