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LARP II Delegates with His Excellency the President of Lebanon General Michel Sleiman

LARP II Delegates With Governor Riad Salameh of the Central Bank of Lebanon

LARP I Delegates with Minister Haddad Representing the Prime Minister of Lebanon

Who Are We?

The Lebanese American Renaissance Partnership (LARP) is dedicated to supporting the programs and purposes of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Lebanon. USAID is an independent agency that provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. Lebanon, the launching pad of freedom, democracy and human rights of the Middle East with its gorgeous beaches and history, has been wracked in recent years with regional wars, terrorism, and interference from outside foreign powers seeking to use Lebanon for their own purposes. The unrest and instability that lasted more than thirty years from the early 1970s until today destroyed the Lebanese economy, a blow from which Lebanon is still recovering. In 2006, war returned to Lebanon on a wide scale between Israeli and Hezbollah. Since the beginning of Lebanese regional wars, civil unrest and instability has severely weakened Lebanese economic development and civil institutions. Today, over 28% of Lebanon’s population lives below the Lebanese poverty line, unemployment is more than 25% and the median annual income in Lebanon is below $11,000 per year.

The economic and political instability in Lebanon undermines United States interests in the area. Terrorism and terrorist organizations thrive in Lebanon, and the presence of these organizations together with decaying civil and economic institutions in this vital area of the world threatens U.S. security. The U.S. government has publicly identified peace, stability, and economic growth as a high national security priority of the United States. In Lebanon itself, the U.S. has embarked on a program to counter internal threats to peace and security and to help build the governance capacity and economic viability of the country. Restoring Lebanese sovereignty and democracy is consistent with America’s global counter-terrorism goals and its regional goals.

LARP is committed to supporting the civil society and civic institutions of Lebanon, to lifting up the spirit of the Lebanese people and, assisting the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other agencies of the United States in their efforts to promote economic growth in Lebanon and to foster peace, stability and democratic institutions in an efforts to enhance the sovereignty and freedom of Lebanon. LARP seeks to help improve the distressed economic conditions and to lessen the burdens of government by supporting charitable causes in Lebanon that promote the goals and objectives of USAID and other US federal agencies.

LARP is proud to assist USAID in its goals of bringing peace, stability, and economic growth to Lebanon. Working side-by-side with the people of Lebanon, USAID and LARP seek, among other things, to increase international trade, create jobs, invest in youth, provide humanitarian assistance, and rebuild Lebanon. This is why LARP has built a strong leadership team comprised of government officials and senior business leaders.

LARP believes that these goals can be achieved by drawing heavily upon the resources of Lebanese Americans. Over half of Lebanon’s economy is based on international trade, and the civil conflicts in Lebanon have created a large Diaspora of emigrants and former refugees. LARP believes that it can leverage the resources of Lebanese Americans in this Diaspora to assist in building Lebanese imports and exports, the single most significant part of the Lebanese economy. LARP also believes in reconnecting Lebanese Americans to their roots in Lebanon. In short, LARP seeks to integrate Lebanese Americans of the Lebanese Diaspora into our efforts to providing relief to distressed populations in Lebanon by working to promote the economic, civic, and political development of Lebanese society and lessening the burdens of government by supporting charitable works of U.S. foreign aid programs in Lebanon.

LARP’s Programs

LARP sponsors every other year a conference in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, to help build connections between the Lebanese American business community and business and governmental interests in Lebanon. LARP believes that by building and strengthening this network, LARP can help to build the foundation of international trade relationships with Lebanon that will serve to bring relief to Lebanon’s economically distressed population and further United States goals and interests in the region. LARP’s conference brings together political and business leaders from both Lebanon and the United States to build ties that will build Lebanon.

LARP’s every other year conference also serves to reconnect Lebanese American business people with the health care and humanitarian needs of the Lebanese. Each year, LARP chooses four or more Lebanese charities vetted and recommended by USAID and challenges the participants in LARP’s conference to assist those charities.

To qualify for a grant from LARP, recipients must (1) address the humanitarian needs of the people of Lebanon and/or foster peace, stability and democratic institutions in Lebanon; (2) receive favorable mention from USAID; and (3) be recommended by one or more USAID officials. Previous grant recipients have included Sesobel, a Lebanese charity that provides medical, educational, and other services to Lebanese disabled children and their families; the Association of Motherhood and Infantile, which has fifteen free medical clinics throughout Lebanon to provide free medicine and health attention to poor women, children and the elderly; Children's Cancer Center of Lebanon, an affiliate of Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, which provides Lebanon's children with the latest cancer treatment without discrimination and at no cost to the families; and many others as stated in the Grants page.