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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)

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Lebanon: €60 million in humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable

On a visit to Lebanon today, Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, announced €60 million in humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable people in the country, including Syrian refugees and Lebanese people in need. The Commissioner is visiting EU-funded humanitarian projects and meeting

EU and Lebanon

The European Union (EU) cooperates with Lebanon in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy  and its southern dimension, the “Renewed partnership with Southern Neighbourhood – A new Agenda for the Mediterranean”.

The EU-Lebanon Association Agreement entered into force in April 2006 and forms the legal basis of the partnership between the EU and Lebanon.

The EU-Lebanon Partnership Priorities were adopted at the EU-Lebanon Association Council on 11 November 2016. They set out the framework for EU political engagement and enhanced cooperation with Lebanon and aim at supporting Lebanon’s development as a stable, democratic, politically open, and economically strong country and promote reforms.

EU support to Lebanon

The Lebanese society is bearing the consequences of the political and socio-economic crisis, exacerbated by the 2020 Beirut port blast. Constantly adapting to an evolving environment, EU support is people-centred and pursues reforms in line with the principles and objectives defined in the Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework (3RF). Moreover, EU support addresses the needs of the most vulnerable, including refugees from Syria and Lebanese host communities. It promotes crucial reforms while supporting authorities to better deliver public services to the most vulnerable segments of the population. The EU leads international support in basic services, such as primary health care, and education. For example, the EU supports Lebanon with the implementation of the Five-Year general education Plan 2021-2025 ensuring learning continuity through access to quality and inclusive education for the most vulnerable children, refugees from Syria and Lebanese host communities. In the area of good governance, the EU supports reforms in key areas of public administration in line with the principles of a modern public administration.

EU assistance to Lebanon is primarily funded through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) for the period 2021-2027.

As set out in the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) 2021-2027, the priority areas for cooperation are:

  • Enhancing good governance and supporting reforms;
  • strengthening an inclusive and resilient economy; and
  • promoting a green and sustainable recovery.

The EU’s total assistance to Lebanon since 2011 amounts to over €3 billion. This includes:

The promotion and protection of human rights is an overarching theme for EU assistance in Lebanon, in line with the European consensus on development. Transparency, accountability, and the fight against corruption are pursued in all actions supported by bilateral cooperation.

Through the EU Roadmap for engagement with Civil Society in Lebanon, the EU continues to further deepen the partnership approach with civil society in promoting an enabling environment for their long-term engagement in the development and reform process in Lebanon.


Regional cooperation

In addition to bilateral cooperation, Lebanon benefits from regional and Neighbourhood-wide cooperation programmes in the sectors of security, economic cooperation, energy, environment, climate, transport, media, youth and culture.

Under the EU twinning tool, the Lebanese public administration is partnering with European administrations for mutual learning and capacity building through sharing of EU best practices. Since 2021, Lebanon benefitted from one Twinning project in the sector of transport and concluded a project in the sector of veterinary services and food safety. Lebanon also benefits from TAIEX (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange instrument), which supports public administrations with regard to the approximation, application and enforcement of EU legislation, with 21 events organised from 2021 until June 2023. TAIEX experts shared best practices on organic agriculture, preventing and combating sexual harassment, and countering antiquities trafficking. In addition, a functional review of the justice system has been performed.

Syrian refugee crisis

The Seventh Conference on "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region" (Brussels VII) took place on June 2023, hosted and chaired by the European Union (EU). It followed sessions held in Kuwait (2013-2015), London (2016) and Brussels I-VI (2017-2022). The EU and the international community renewed their support to the critical efforts the Lebanese government and citizens are undertaking in response to the crisis. Participants at the Brussels VII Conference announced pledges for both Syria and the region close to € 5.6 billion for 2023 and beyond.

UNRWA and Palestine refugees

Lebanon hosts around 202,000 Palestine refugees, of whom around 28,000 come from Syria, displaced for a second time. The country benefits from EU contributions to the central budget of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which will amount to €261 million between 2021 and 2024.

Other financing instruments

Lebanon participates in Erasmus+, which supports the modernisation of the higher education sector and promotes mobility and co-operation with EU higher education institutions. 3,471 Lebanese students, professors and university staff travelled to Europe, and 1,864 European counterparts travelled to Lebanon between 2015 and 2022.

Further information

Factsheets available to download

Key documents

For specific information (programme level), see below