EHMEJ, Lebanon (June 17, 2009) — Ambassador Michele J. Sison broke ground on a new forest fire fighting and community center in Ehmej in northern Lebanon, an area prone to forest fires.
Also attending the ceremony were the Governor of Byblos, mayors of Ehmej and surrounding communities, parliamentary members, members of civil society organizations and community leaders.
This new center will increase the Ehmej municipality’s capacity and be a regional center of excellence supporting the surrounding communities. The center will focus on the protection, conservation, and growth of the forests in Ehmej and the surrounding area as well as serving as a community gathering place.
The new, two-floor facility, which will cost more than $500,000, is part of the Department of Defense’s Humanitarian Assistance Program. These types of projects enable the U.S. Government to continue to assist the Lebanese people.
Since 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense has committed more than $3 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon, working closely with the Lebanese Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Education.