|Ministry urges transparency in medication trade - 15/08/2012|
|The Daily Star
BEIRUT: The Health Ministry called Tuesday for transparency in the manufacturing and import of medicines in Lebanon by adopting international standards used in developed countries.
After a meeting between Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil and officials from the Syndicate of Medicine Importers and Manufacturers, the ministry said in a statement that manufacturers and importers should register medicines according to international guidelines.
Some 5,894 drugs are currently registered, according to ministry officials, but only 4,525 drugs are available in the market.
“The meeting focused on ensuring transparency in following the registration of new drugs, the improvement of registration processes according to international guidelines practiced in developed countries and guaranteeing the permanent availability of drugs for chronic diseases,” the statement added.
|Lebanon ranks seventh for oil, gas investment - 16/07/2012|
|BEIRUT: Lebanon ranked seventh in Middle East and North Africa in terms of attractiveness for upstream oil and gas investment, according to a recent report by the Fraser Institute, a public policy research organization.
In its sixth annual edition of the “2012 Global Petroleum Survey,” which assesses 147 jurisdictions for attractiveness and barriers to investments in the oil industry, the Canada-based institute put Lebanon in 71st place on a global scale, with a score of 45.61.
The survey assesses barriers to investment in the petroleum industry in terms of tax rates, the cost of regulatory schemes, environmental regulations, the interpretation and administration of regulations governing the petroleum industry and security threats. The lower a jurisdiction scores, the more attractive it is to investors
Lebanon is set to soon finalize appointments at the Petroleum Administration – a body that oversees the sector – after which the first licensing round for oil and gas exploration off the country’s coast will take place.|
|Enhance Preparedness & Reduce Risks at the Beirut International Airport - 16/07/2012|
Under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Ghazi El-Aridi, the United Nations Development Programme and DHL launched the preparedness training program “Get Airports Ready for Disaster” (GARD) took place at the Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport on 9 July 2012.
The aim of the training is to improve local logistics capacities so that the bottlenecks at disaster – site airports can be avoided when huge volumes of incoming relief goods arrive ad hoc.
Lebanon is the fourth country to receive the GARD training which has been successfully rolled out in Indonesia, Nepal and Bangladesh. The four-day program focused on training airport staff as well as local and government officials to assess local requirements and create detailed contingency plans.
The GARD Program was developed together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2009 to train airport personnel, local security officials and representatives of national disaster agencies in airport logistics management. GARD grew out of first-hand experience that showed just how important it is for disaster-prone regions and airports to be disaster-ready and be able to respond quickly and effectively to the challenges of disaster relief logistics.
|Ministry launches $24 mln EU-funded reform project - 13/07/2012|
|BEIRUT: The Interior Ministry launched Thursday a 20 million euro ($24.4 million) European Union-funded project to support financial reform at municipalities. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said the plan would increase administrative and financial capacities for small municipalities. He said the project would contribute to the achievement of more balanced economic growth and would support his ministry’s efforts for realizing administrative decentralization. Head of the EU delegation Angelina Eichhorst said the project targets 70 percent of Lebanese municipalities that face significant challenges in attracting investments and offering adequate public services. Eichhorst said the EU would continue to support the Interior Ministry in reinforcing local governance. “During the past decade, the EU invested 50 million Euros in building the capacities of municipalities,” she said. According to the EU delegation to Lebanon’s website, the project will create a fund for various development activities to be implemented by municipal unions.
|The European Union supports Local Development and Municipal Finance Reform - 12/07/2012|
|The Minister of Interior and Municipalities, H.E. Mr. Marwan Charbel, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, and the President of the Council for Development and Reconstruction, Mr. Nabil El-Jisr, launched today the "Support to Municipal Finance Reform" (MuFin) programme.
The MuFin programme is part of EU-Lebanon cooperation on local development and decentralisation and is funded by the European Union with a €20 million grant. The MuFin programme aims to contribute towards more balanced socio-economic development through modernised municipal administration and effective central support to the local administration. Its specific aims are to improve the municipal finance framework, enhance the capacities of municipal sector to assume its mandate, and provide financial support to local development initiatives and projects. The main expected results of the programme are: (i) strengthening capacities both at central and local levels to foster and manage local development, (ii) improving the regulatory framework to enhance municipal revenues and (iii) improving service delivery and revenue generation at the
|EU project to improve women’s prison conditions - 04/07/2012|
|BEIRUT: An EU-funded project to improve conditions in women’s prisons was launched Tuesday by head of the EU delegation to Lebanon, ambassador Angelina Eichhorst and Gen. Joseph Douaihy, Commander of the Gendarmerie, at Baabda Prison. The 30-month program has been dubbed “Promoting Human Rights Policy and Practice in Lebanese Women’s Prisons.” It aims at improving the human rights of women detainees in four women’s prisons – Baabda, Tripoli, Zahle and Barbar al-Khazen, Beirut – in cooperation with the prisons’ authorities, through enhancing the legal and social support to detainees, encouraging them to report abuses and promoting regulatory improvements. It will be implemented by the NGO Diakonia, alongside Caritas, Dar al-Amal and Rassemblement Démocratique des Femmes. During the launch, Eicchorst said: “Prisons should contribute to rehabilitate inmates, to educate and reinsert them into society and to set them on the right path to rejoin society as productive and welcome members.” She stressed the high rate of pretrial detention in Lebanese prisons, calling on authorities to do more to improve prison conditions and accelerate trials. |
|Committee rejects tax hikes for private sector - 19/06/2012|
|The Daily Star
BEIRUT: The National Economy Committee rejected Monday proposed tax hikes in the 2012 budget draft, urging politicians to hold a “socio-economic dialogue” to shield the Lebanese economy from the repercussions of political bickering.
“We [reached an agreement] that there shouldn’t be any additional taxes on the productive and banking sectors [as well as] on consumers,” Beirut MP Nabil Du Freij told reporters after a meeting held at Parliament.
“Taxes are increased when the economic conditions are improving, not when the economy is slowing,” he said. “Our only policy recommendation is that the budget should be passed with no additional taxes,” Du Freij added.
The committee reiterated calls for an economic dialogue, mirroring National Dialogue talks that brought together Lebanon’s rival political coalitions.
|IDAL to reimburse agriculture export subsidies - 19/06/2012|
|BEIRUT: The Investment Development Authority of Lebanon will reimburse subsidies due to agricultural exporters Tuesday, the body said Friday. “IDAL will pay up to 90 percent of reimbursements to exporters for various agricultural produce,” the statement said. The reimbursements are part of the “Export Plus” program and will cover payments due in the second half of 2011. The statement called on exporters and farmers to liaise with IDAL offices in their respective regions to receive the payments. Export Plus has been replaced by a more comprehensive export subsidy program dubbed “Agri Plus,” IDAL has recently announced. The new program, worth LL50 billion yearly, primarily aims at opening new markets for Lebanese produce and will be co-managed by IDAL and the Agriculture Ministry, the two sides announced in March.|
|مشروع اقتراح قانون سلامة الغذاء - 15/06/2012|
|بحث وزيرا الزراعة حسين الحاج حسن والاقتصاد والتجارة نقولا نحاس، في سياق الاجتماعات الدورية التنسيقية، في حضور المدير العام للاقتصاد بالانابة فؤاد فليفل ومتخصصين، في الملفات التي تعمل عليها الوزارتان، وخصوصا ملف قانون سلامة الغذاء والاسس التنظيمية لقطاع الغذاء وتعميم المواصفات اللبنانية الالزامية، وانجاز تسجيل المستودعات الغذائية ومسالخ اللحوم.
وتطرق المجتمعون إلى الاحكام القانونية للمخالفات، وتشديد العقوبات وإلغاء الأسباب التخفيفية، اضافة إلى إعداد انظمة المراقبة والتتبع، وإجراءات التلف وإجراءات المتابعة من مسح وغرف عمليات ومختبرات ودعم فني وتدريب وإعداد خطط العمل.|