Lapo Pistelli, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, visited the Middle East on Sunday, the 26th April. Yesterday he met Francesco Lanino in Tripoli, COOPI’s Head of Mission in Lebanon, herewith maintaining his promise made during the CHANGE congress.
Despite Tripoli being considered as one of the most dangerous places in the country today, the Honourable Pistelli wanted to visit the project COOPI Cash4Work personally. As an emergency initiative, the project intends to strengthen the resilience of populations of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and its local communities.
The project, funded by UTL Lebanon, contributes to the social and economic integration of vulnerable populations in the metropolitan area of Tripoli, redeveloping areas within the districts of Tripoli and Beddawe through a program known as “Cash for Work”.
After having introduced himself to the authorities, Vice Minister Pistelli, accompanied by Ambassador Giuseppe Morabito, wanted to meet the Lebanese and Syrian workers who participated in the project.
During his speech addressed to the population and in presence of the Mayor of Tripoli, Pistelli praised COOPI’s engagement in the project, being in one of the poorest areas of Lebanon with the greatest presence of Syrian refugees. As a project that puts man at the centre of attention, through work, through the program Cash for Work, people’s dignity is restored. To guarantee Syrian refugees in Lebanon a professional occupation does not only mean to give them the possibility of making an income for the upkeep of their families, but it also means restoring their dignity. Subsequently, involving them in the requalification of public spaces allows us to reintegrate 360 families in towns, thereby reducing social tensions between Syrian refugees and Lebanese communities.
“Work and dignity”, these are the key words of the Vice Minister’s speech during the evening of the 1st of May.