COVID-19 National and Local Responsibilities in Lebanon and Germany

On the 26th of June 2020, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung held an online webinar in cooperation with Democracy Reporting International, aiming to address National and Local Responses and Responsibilities in Lebanon and Germany to COVID-19. The panels included German MdB Marian Wendt of the State of Saxony, MP Elias Hankach from Lebanon, Governor of Baalbek-Hermel Bachir Khodr, Landrat of Traunstein Sigfried Walch and Mayor of Bcharre Freddy Keirouz. The panels were moderated by Mrs. Tania Awad Ghorra.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an ongoing discussion about the effectiveness of measures being taken, aiming to draw best practices while respecting human rights and upholding law. The answer to that is in undertaking the necessary measures aiming at safeguarding the health and the security of citizens in full accordance with the law without limiting fundamental human rights. To achieve this, there is a need for frequent communication between the government and the citizens on the measures being taken and fast responses within the parameters of the law and the constitution while respecting human rights.

After remarks by DRI’s and KAS’ country representatives Dr. André Sleiman and Dr. Malte Gaier respectively and addresses by the speakers, the webinar concluded with the following recommendations:


On the National Level:

  • To have a stable parliament and a stable system of civil protection and a healthcare system created by the parliamentarians.
  • To have proper lines of communication between the state and the citizens in order to explain the measures being taken.
  • To properly coordinate between the chancellery or the Ministry and the decentralized states or the municipalities.
  • To increase the numbers of ICU beds, respiratory units, masks and other needed medical equipment.
  • To support decentralization and empower decentralized units and authorities.
  • To vote on needed laws and oversee their implementation.
  • To make decisions that are in line with state laws and the constitution.
  • To uphold human rights while undertaking the necessary measures aiming at safeguarding the health and the security of the citizens.
  • To implement an economy stimulation plan, post the Covid-19 pandemic through tax reductions, stimulus money, reduction of local income tax, supporting corporates.
  • To Cooperate and support partners internationally.
  • To take necessary measures to prevent another outbreak.


On the Local Level:

  • To create a crisis management chamber or unit experts in operations management, tactical, logistics and a medical contact person.
  • To implement contact tracing and set up a contact tracing unit.
  • To implement mass testing involving direct family members, the neighborhood and contacted people.
  • To isolate highly infected areas while providing support for infected citizens be it material, or moral support.
  • To set up confinement and isolation locations for people in need.
  • To create public awareness through frequent and transparent communication with the citizens.
  • To create communication channels between decentralized authorities and community leaders.
  • To increase human resources through volunteering initiatives involving citizens specifically medical students.
  • To organize various initiatives aiming at supporting local communities especially in vulnerable areas i.e. food donations, agriculture initiatives and others.
  • To organize health awareness campaigns.
  • To support marginalized and communities at risk i.e. refugees through coordination with UNHCR, INGOs and local NGOs.
  • To provide moral and psychological support for citizens.