Rampling tours Tripoli: UK will provide over Pound 800,000 to MARCH for more community projects

Visiting North of Lebanon for the second time in three months, British Ambassador to Lebanon, Chris Rampling, met with officials from the Chamber of Commerce, the Tripoli Special Economic Zone, and Advisor to PM for Northern Affairs Abdel Ghani Kabbara.

Ambassador Rampling paid condolences to Former Prime minister Najib Mikati and met with Former minister Mohamad Safadi at the Safadi foundation.

In a press release by the British Embassy in Beirut, it said: "During his visit, Ambassador Rampling inaugurated local shops, which had been renovated by young men and women from Beb El Tebbeneh and Jabal Mohsen, in Beb El Dehab, a former demarcation line in the city. Rampling announced over Pound 800,000 to MARCH NGO for community projects across Beirut and Tripoli that focus on tolerance and peace building. The inauguration, which included speeches from Tripoli officials and testimonials from young people, was attended by Philippe Lazarini - Deputy UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Dr. Dima Jamali, and MPs Nicolas Nahass, Mosbah El Ahdab, Ahmad Fatfat and Ali Darwich."

At the end of his visit, Rampling said: "The northern winds beckon and I find myself coming back again to Tripoli - [my second visit in three months]. Renowned for its historic landscapes, the smell of orange trees and the unmistakable flavour of its famous sweets, Tripoli is also an example for coexistence and peace building among its various communities. There is much more to do, but what you have delivered so far inspires us on."

Ambassador Rampling added: "My message today, which comes at an important political and economic time for Lebanon, is that our work goes on. Your work to build bridges of peace and understanding, to reduce tension and to turn lives around. Our work in support of you, to help build and transform the security agencies, to provide the opportunity of education for all, strengthen service delivery in municipalities, and provide humanitarian assistance to highly vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian families. This continues. And where we can, it will grow."

Rampling concluded: "While here, I have seen hundreds of (330) war-torn shops and former demarcation lines which have been refurbished with the support of other donors, and which now employ over 250 young men and women. This is what makes Tripoli unique: the young people that come together, breaking down barriers and building new and lasting relationships. You are now Ambassadors for tolerance and hope in your communities. This - and you - are the future. This is why I am so pleased to announce today that we will continue supporting great initiatives such as MARCH. The UK will provide over Pound 800,000 (over$ 1 million) to MARCH for more community projects, just like this one, across Beirut and Tripoli."

Source: National News Agency