The Economic and Social Fund for Development (ESFD) is a governmental body dedicated to alleviate poverty in Lebanon through the creation of employment opportunities and through the improvement of living conditions in disadvantaged communities.
The ESFD strives to eliminate poverty, provide access to affordable and adequate social services, reduce unemployment, and advocate for a balanced, pro-poor, and equitable economic growth in Lebanon. To that end, the ESFD aims to eventually become an independent public institution with a leading role in social development in Lebanon, within a framework of coordinated efforts by the public sector, the business sector and civil society.
The ESFD reaches out to the poor through systematic and sustainable partnerships with competent intermediaries (Banks, Municipalities, NGOs and others). The ESFD aims at alleviating poverty and mitigating the social impact of the economic transition on disadvantaged groups through complementary and targeted actions: Job Creation, Community Development and Infrastructure. The ESFD is under implementation since June 11, 2002.
The ESFD aims at the creation of employment opportunities through the provision of financial and non-financial services to small and medium enterprises. Loans are provided to improve access to finance for productive and sustainable activities with significant impact on poverty alleviation. Business Advisory Services (BAS) are provided to ensure the viability and sustainability of submitted projects.
The Community Development and Infrastructure Component at the ESFD improves basic living conditions through expanded economic opportunities and enhanced access to social services. The CDI component provides financial and technical assistance for the implementation of priority projects as identified through a participative process.
The Economic and Social Fund for Development (ESFD) is part of the Euro-Med Partnership established between the European Commission (EC) and the Republic of Lebanon in November 2000.
The Lebanese Council of Ministers, in its decisions No. 3 dated 25/8/1999 and No. 34 dated 10/10/2000, entrusted the President of the Council for Development and Reconstruction (CDR) with the responsibility of managing and implementing the ESFD as an autonomous, permanent, efficient and sustainable institution according to the rules stipulated in the Financing Agreement LBN/B7-4100/IB/99/0225.