Building Resilience in Lebanese Communities
MSI implemented USAID’s Lebanon Community Resilience Initiative (LCRI) project together with the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). The project was designed to counter the influence of violent extremist groups and mitigate tensions that resulted from the influx of over 1.2 million Syrian refugees.
We were successful despite a significant backlash against international organizations due to the perception of excessive support for Syrians at the expense of host communities.
Our quick response capability addressed localized conflict and was a central piece in the U.S. Government’s response to the social, political, and economic crisis in Lebanon.
We strengthened youth empowerment and civic participation and provided peaceful alternatives to violence. We also worked to reduce the marginalization and isolation of community groups, increase moderate space and strengthen moderate actors, and counter extremist messaging.
Through partnerships with local NGOs, community organizations, and youth groups, we rehabilitated damaged businesses, public spaces, and schools. We brought together diverse community groups to counter sectarian tensions, and fostered positive interactions between youth through sports, the arts, and community service.
Our programming was agile and responsive. For instance, we dropped approaches that did not show immediate results, refocused on different strategic objectives, and moved between geographic areas to hit windows of opportunity.
Because of our support for Lebanese communities, and flexible partner selection and project design mechanisms, we were operated in areas no other international organization was able to.