When a conflict destroyed homes and displaced people in 2006, the country began to lose the people it needed most for recovery. The Partnership for Lebanon brought together public and private organizations to create jobs, improve connectivity, and spur growth.
What: Speed recovery to retain talent
Slow recovery reduced opportunities for talented and educated people who are essential to restoring economic growth. Cisco committed US$20 million in cash, equipment, and expertise in networking technology to help reverse “brain drain” and build a foundation for lasting prosperity in Lebanon.
- 1/4 of Lebanon’s population displaced and parts of the country were uninhabitable.
- 100 young people participated in internships in Lebanon and abroad.
- 50 schools connected to high-speed Internet and teachers trained in learner-centric instruction.
- 13 youth and IT training centers wired for access to training and the Internet.
- 640 homes rebuilt with Habitat for Humanity to resettle damaged communities.
- 2 dogs trained with a grant from Cisco to detect land mines for restoration of damaged areas.
How: Invest in infrastructure, education, and business
Cisco partnered with four major global corporations and more than 20 organizations to multiply the impact of Cisco’s investment. An infusion of capital and workforce development programs invigorated the local economy.
- The first Internet exchange point in Lebanon helped reduce cost and increase the speed of Internet connectivity to begin transforming the nation’s ICT infrastructure.
- The Cisco Networking Academy program doubled from 22 to 44 locations to support the growing ICT sector.
- Microloans and venture capital funding led to job creation and a private sector revival.
- Executive mentorship program paired accomplished U.S. business leaders with Lebanese business leaders.
The Partnership for Lebanon helped create educational and economic opportunities for thousands. A robust ICT infrastructure will help Lebanese citizens compete and succeed in the global economy.
- 90% of participants in the internship program found employment, reversing the youth brain drain.
- US$1.57 million in micro-loans dispersed to 729 rural residents (as of December 2011). As loans are repaid, the funds go back into the community to fund more individuals.
- US$10 million invested in promising small- to mid-sized ICT companies.