Amidst the socioeconomic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Hariri Foundation partnered with the Disaster Risk Management Unit at the Lebanese Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Federation of Municipalities of Saida-Zahrani and the Lebanese Red Cross to establish a legal crisis and disaster risk management unit at the local level. The unit aimed at consolidating the efforts of the 16 municipalities in Saida-Zahrani in managing crisis and disaster risks and to align them with the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management. Hariri Foundation collaborated with national and local partners to equip and support the unit and its operations room, linking local pre-established sectoral networks with local authorities to enhance preparedness for disasters and adopting scientific indicators in disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management.
To this day, Hariri Foundation supports the unit through data management and geographic information system services, informing the unit’s strategic decisions for preparedness and multi-agency response. The foundation works with the unit to promote partnerships and tools for data-driven decision-making as well as community-based disaster risk management through outreach and joint planning with the local community.