The Grand Duchess visited Lebanon last week, but not in her capacity as Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. Instead, she visited the Middle Eastern country as a UNESCO and Unicef ambassador.

Ahead of the Stand Speak Rise Up - To End Sexual Violence in Fragile Zones forum in March 2019 that Grand Duchess Maria Teresa is spearheading, the Grand Duchess visited Lebanon to meet with victims and aid organisations. The visit helped the Grand Duchess understand which areas require the most urgent help.

Lebanon is one of the countries which has been most affected by the refugee crisis. The Grand Duchess is particularly concerned for the many women who have been affected by the crisis and especially those who have faced sexual assault during the Syrian civil war.

The aim of the Stand Speak Rise Up forum is to create new partnerships, scale existing efforts, as well as identify new and long-lasting solutions for fragile regions. In Lebanon, the Grand Duchess personally helped with distributing supplies as well as talking with victims. The Grand Duchess spoke about her experience meeting with victims and seeing how even comforting words would help make a difference. The plight is one that lies close to the Grand Duchess' heart and it will be interesting to see the results of the forum in March.