Press Release

UN-Habitat and the Republic of Korea extends support to public institutions in Zahle

22 March 2024

  • Beirut, 21 March 2024. The Government of the Republic of Korea in Lebanon and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) have signed an agreement to provide emergency support to the Zahle Civil Defense Centre. The event was held at the Civil Defense in Zahle in the presence of the Korean Ambassador to Lebanon, Mr. Il Park, and Head of UN-Habitat Lebanon Country Programme, Ms. Taina Christiansen. 


Under the title “Emergency support to Zahle Civil Defense to enhance preparedness and crisis response capacities to better protect communities and respond to conflict and natural disasters”, the project will fully rehabilitate the Centre and provide extensive equipment to enhance the response capacities of the Civil Defense in Zahle. This intervention serves as a second phase of Korea’s ongoing project supporting public institutions in Zahle and is considered a milestone within UN-Habitat’s wider focus on sustainable urban regeneration and development in Zahle.


A delegation from the Government of Korea in Lebanon and UN-Habitat visited project sites to observe implementation progress under the first phase of the project, which includes the provision of renewable energy solutions to the Tel Chiha Hospital, a water pumping station run by the Beqaa Water Establishment and the installation of renewable energy street lighting fixtures.


“We are excited to launch our second project in Zahle in partnership with UN-Habitat. I hope that this project will contribute to improving the working conditions and safety of the civil defense staffs and volunteers, which in turn will facilitate better access to emergency assistance for the people of Zahle” said Mr. Il Park, the Korean Ambassador to Lebanon


 “The Municipality of Zahle welcomes the efforts of UN-Habitat and thanks the Korean funding to secure renewable energy for the water well of the Zahle Industrial Zone and the Tal Chiha Hospital, which is currently going through critical stages and needs assistance. We also deeply appreciate the investment in the Civil Defense Centre; we are proud of the members, who were never short on performing their mission to the fullest” said Mr. Assaad Zoghaib, Mayor of Zahle


“This initiative will contribute to improving service conditions in the Bekaa Regional Center by restoring and equipping the building, which will enhance the capabilities of the personnel to handle all types of tasks assigned to them more effectively. The equipment that will be provided to personnel to extinguish fires and carry out search and rescue operations will reflect positively in terms of ensuring public safety and protecting lives and property” said General Raymond Khattar, Director General of Civil Defense. 


During the visit to Tel Chiha Hospital, the Korean delegation and UN-Habitat met with Archbishop Ibrahim Ibrahim, head of the hospital’s Supreme Committee who stressed on the importance of ensuring the continuity of the hospital by supplying it with renewable energy. He also noted the crucial role that the hospital plays in providing basic health support to the people of the region.


"We deeply value our extended collaboration with Korea in Lebanon, positively impacting the sustainability of public institutions in the country. This initiative highlights our dedication to ensure enhanced urban services and emergency support to communities in Lebanon amid difficult socio-economic challenges. By bolstering the capabilities of the Zahle District Civil Defense Centre, we are not only mitigating emergencies but also laying the groundwork for a more resilient urban future.” said Ms. Taina Christiansen, Head of UN-Habitat Lebanon Country Programme




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. 

Peter Moussa

Peter Moussa

Communications Associate

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Other entities involved in this initiative

Embassy of Korea

Goals we are supporting through this initiative