SAADIE: “WE SHOULD LEARN FROM OUR EXPERIENCE DURING THE PANDEMIC PROCESS”
In a local government talk entitled “The Role of Local Governments in the Fight Against COVID-19 and Normalization Process” held on July 1, 2020, United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) hosted Mohamad Saadie, President of the Union of Dannieh Municipalities, Lebanon, and UCLG-MEWA President.
Starting his speech by thanking everyone who contributed to the live broadcast, Saadie first touched on the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the whole world. Saadie stated that from the perspective of UCLG and its sections, this process is an opportunity to reduce losses and stressed that local governments are closer to the citizens than the central government.
Speaking about the fight against the coronavirus led by the Union of Municipalities of Dannieh in Lebanon, Saadie pointed to the committees established within municipalities for a better crisis management and also mentioned the voluntary involvement of youth in this process.
Saadie also talked about the economic impact of the pandemic on the municipalities in Dannieh and the MEWA region and underlined that the municipalities had made great efforts to serve their citizens despite their limited budgets.
Stating that refugees in the country are not considered foreigners but citizens, he also talked about UNHCR's work in collaboration with the Lebanese Government to curb the spread of the pandemic in tent cities.
Describing the normalization process as a period in which all principles have been fulfilled despite the existing difficulties, Saadie stated that normal life can continue by following certain rules, and the process may vary from country to country and from community to community.
Saadie, who also serves as UCLG-MEWA President, pointed out to the work of the organization especially in the field of Sustainable Development Goals, and drew attention to the crisis management efforts of UCLG-MEWA in cooperation with UCLG during the coronavirus process.
At the end of the talk, Saadie conveyed his good wishes to local governments in the MEWA region, their mayors and the people of Dannieh, expressing his belief that this difficult process can be overcome with great solidarity and collaboration of all humanity.