Cooperatives in Lebanon : Hope for a better social and economic future ?

September 2014
PDF version

American University of Beirut

“The main aim of cooperatives is to share risks, pool resources and generate income. It is based on the principles of equality, freedom, justice and fairness. Supported by the government in the late 1960s-1970s, cooperatives in Lebanon were directly affected by the civil war and foreign occupation as well as by the political system of the state and the harsh socioeconomic conditions. The resurgence of cooperatives in post war Lebanon was mainly driven by political parties and highly politicized as well as tainted with clientelism and Nepotism. As of 2000, the cooperative sector, backed by local and foreign donors, started to reappear as a major social and economic actor in the Lebanese communities; gaining more credibility and trust. However, the potential of cooperative is still far from being reached especially in the rural areas of Lebanon. These enterprises are still marginalized and often not adhering to the cooperatives principles; moreover, the sector is facing many challenges that are directly affecting its development.”


World outside Europe