Local business development service provider/micro-finance institution to support selected SMEs with grant schemes as part of the programme, “Supporting Business Continuity, Resilience&Decent Job Retention in Lebanese SMEs in the Agriculture&Agrofood secto
In response to large mixed migration movements and refugee crises across the world, the Government of the Netherlands has launched a new Partnership entitled “Improved Prospects for Forcibly Displaced Persons and Host Communities” or “PROSPECTS” bringing together the ILO, UNICEF, UNHCR, WB, and IFC to jointly focus on nexuses between education, protection and employment. Implemented in eight countries, namely, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, PROSPECTS aims to help transform the way governments and other stakeholders, including the private sector, respond to forced displacement crises. Moreover, the ILO, with funding from Germany through KfW Development Bank, is implementing the Lebanon Employment Intensive Infrastructure Programme (EIIP) as part of its response to the Syrian refugee crisis to create decent jobs for vulnerable Lebanese host community members and Syrian refugees and ease the strain on local infrastructure. The COVID-19 outbreak in combination with the economic crisis has however affected the project and new priorities are emerging. ILO and the donor have agreed to re-direct some of the available funding towards supporting the critical agro-food and agriculture sectors. Within the framework of PROSPECTS and EIIP in Lebanon, the ultimate objective of ILO’s intervention is promote access for Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities to decent work opportunities (rights to work); and to ensure workers from both communities have safe working conditions and social protection (rights at work), in line with international labour standards.
Objective of ILO’s intervention:
In response to the multiples crises that SMEs are facing in Lebanon, i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial crisis and the repercussions of the recent Beirut explosion, the ILO is currently implementing a programme to promote business continuity, resilience and decent job retention in SMEs operating in the agriculture and agro-food sectors, and employing vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian refugee workers. Through a number of training/coaching interventions, the programme aims to tackle business continuity and resilience planning, financial management, reskilling of workers, productivity and working conditions, and occupational safety and health. A main component of the intervention is to provide financial assistance to the selected SMEs in the form of grants to cover workers’ wages for job retention, other operational costs and potential investment opportunities that may appear as a result of the technical assistance provided. To date, 15 SMEs operating in the agriculture and agro-food sectors in Beqaa, Akkar and North-Lebanon have been assessed and selected to be part of the business continuity, resilience and job retention programme in Lebanon. 5 new SMEs will be added to the programme shortly. To this end, the ILO is seeking a local non-profit organisation, BDS provider or micro-finance institution (MFI), with experience in designing and providing financial business development services (BDS) support, specifically grant schemes targeting SMEs in the agriculture and the agro-food sectors to assist the ILO in designing and implementing a grant component, including a wage support scheme, to financially assist SMEs to sustain their operations and retain their workforce.
How to apply
For more information on the programme and application requirements, please refer to the attached terms of reference and submit your applications to Mr. Rayann Koudaih, SME Technical Officer, ILO Regional Office for Arab States ([email protected]) by November 23, 2020.Expired