Press Releases 2012
USAID Assistant Administrator Mara Rudman Visits Lebanon
April 23, 2012
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Mara Rudman visited Lebanon today to see first hand how USAID is working with the Government of Lebanon to improve economic opportunities for Lebanese citizens, from students to farmers. Ms. Rudman met with Minister for Education and Higher Education Dr. Hassan Diab and toured various USAID project sites, engaging with partners and USAID project beneficiaries in Saida.
In her meeting with Minister Diab and the D-RASATI steering committee, Assistant Administrator Rudman discussed their joint partnership to invest in the future of Lebanon’s public schools through the five-year $75 million Developing Rehabilitation Assistance to Schools and Teacher Improvement (D-RASATI) program. D-RASATI targets Lebanon’s public schools to enhance student achievement through school rehabilitation, provision of equipment, teacher and leadership training, extracurricular activities, community engagement in local public schools, and establishes a monitoring and evaluation system to ensure high-quality performance. She also visited the Saida Second Secondary School for Girls, which benefited from the D-RASATI program through a rehabilitation of the school’s facilities, and visited with the principal, teachers, and students to assess how the program has dramatically improved their learning environment.
In Saida, Assistant Administrator Rudman toured the Saida Chamber of Commerce Food Testing Laboratory that was established under USAID’s Agricultural Product Quality Control and Certification (QCC) program. The three-year $3 million program established laboratories in Saida, Zahle, and Tripoli that serve as ‘one-stop-shops’ for farmers and food processors to obtain certified laboratory tests to meet local and international safe food standards. Through an agreement with Lebanese Customs, the centers also help protect Lebanese consumers through inspection of Lebanese and imported food stuffs. QCC is part of USAID’s overall assistance to Lebanon’s agricultural sector that supports the rural economy by promoting innovative and efficient growing practices, increasing the quality and value of Lebanese agricultural products, creating jobs and economic opportunities for rural families and young people, and ensuring food is safe to consume.