The Lebanese army supports civilians in hot spot areas
The Civil-Military cooperation integrates military capacities into a collective response to human need.
- There are around 500 recorded patients who have their files and come periodically to check their health situation in addition to many unrecorded Syrian refugees who get medication without payment,” said Ms. Suleiman.
- The collaboration between the Army forces and international organizations like the UNDP and the American Embassy has given the center the opportunity to provide the best possible services for patients by supplying the center with many developed equipment similar to any other health center or private clinic
The UNDP supports the Lebanese Army Civil-Military Cooperation for enhanced relief, stabilization and peacebuilding.
“I have been treated by many doctors for my Allergy problems, heart problems, chest problems, and they were all very collaborative and they even provided me with medicines for free when they were available,” said Najwa Farshoukh, a beneficiary at the health center in Burj abi Haidar.
This center is part of the Addressing Urban Hot spots project funded by the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund. This project has started in 2012 in Lebanon aiming to build and strengthen national capacities in order to promote coexistence and peaceful resolution of conflict and to carry out peace building activities in the tension areas where urban hot spots were identified as areas affected by chronic instability and deterioration.
The project focuses its concern on many hot spots of two major cities: Beirut which includes the Mazraa, Tariq el jdid, Sabra, Burj Abi Haidar area, as well as Saida which includes the 8 adjacent areas of Ain el Helwe camp; namely Baraksat, Bustan El Kods Ouza, Hay el Souhoun, Sikke, Bustan Abi Jamil, Fadlo Wakim, Jabal El Halib and Tawari. By developing and disseminating strategies for safer neighborhoods, strengthening the knowledge and skills of local communities, and implementing many human rights policies, the program is trying to reduce the tension between Lebanese groups as well as between Lebanese and Palestinians in informal gatherings and adjacent areas while focusing on the Civil-Military cooperation. “Under the AUHS project, coordinated the partnership between the UN agencies and the Lebanese Army aiming at the development and endorsement of the National Civil-Military Cooperation strategy and its 5 years work plan,” said Ghalia Fayad, the “Addressing Urban Hot Spots in Lebanon” Project Coordinator at UNDP.
The UNDP support to the Lebanese Army Civil-Military Cooperation efforts has brought together local communities, key actors, authorities and ministries in order to implement pilot interventions including the provision of essential equipment and qualifications to social development centers, medical centers, and medical dispensaries.
During a visit to the Health center in Burj Abi Haidar, the UNDP was able to interview many doctors, patients and the center’s manager who talked about the new equipment the center is provided with, the beneficiaries, and the doctors working in the center. Dr. Ibrahim Zakaria Tawbe, a gynecologist, an obstetrician and a lecturer in the Lebanese University, assured on the availability of modern developed equipment in the center and the acceptable pricing of medication. The center has been in Burj Abi Haydar since 2006, and many fundamental changes and development due to the “Addressing Urban Hot Spots in Lebanon” project have been noticed. Ms. Iman Ali Suleiman, the center’s manager has expressed her gratitude to the contribution and said: “the collaboration between the Army forces and international organizations like the UNDP and the American Embassy has given the center the opportunity to provide the best possible services for patients by supplying the center with many developed equipment similar to any other health center or private clinic.” One of the machines donated to the center is the Echocardiogram machine which is available in Lebanon in Akkar and in Burj Abi Haidar only, according to the center’s manager. In the center, there is a Gynecologist, a pediatrician, a dentist, and a cardiologist who are available for relatively cheap costs ranging from 7,000 LL for medical examination to 15,000 LL for Electrocardiography and other complicated examinations. Moreover, according to Ms. Suleiman, the payments of the center frequently supersede the income, which proves that the ministry of social affairs has the intention of benefiting people rather than gaining financial profits.
The center receives people from Al Mousaytbe, Aisha Bakkar, Al Sanaye’, Ras Alnabe’, Bishara Al Khouri, Al Mazraa, Barbir, and many other places in Beirut, and “There are around 500 recorded patients who have their files and come periodically to check their health situation in addition to many unrecorded Syrian refugees who get medication without payment,” said Ms. Suleiman. In addition, awareness meetings are being held in the center to inform people about the civil-military cooperation and the benefits they have provided the citizens of this area with. The numbers of beneficiaries are increasing by the day and the center has been very effective in improving the relation between Lebanese citizens and the Army.