05 Jan

Lebanon olive farmers benefit from U.S. support

Beirut- The United States is helping unemployed people in Lebanon get temporary agricultural harvesting jobs aimed at helping them rapidly restore their communities and resume sustainable economic activity following recent conflict.

In one example of support provided under the Humanitarian Assistance for Lebanon — or HAL — initiative, an olive harvesting project was launched in Zogharta in north Lebanon. Implemented by the Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF) and its local partner, the Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF), the project also aims to help olive farmers harvest their orchards by providing increased access to harvesting equipment that was destroyed during the conflict.

The project matches underemployed community members with olive farmers to increase the availability of labor while decreasing labor costs. The project was aimed at directly benefiting 800 farmers in the harvest and in maintaining their livelihood. In addition, 300 individuals would benefit from cash-for-work opportunities during the olive harvest period.

Overall, the HAL program targets nearly 5,400 people who are involved in olive harvesting or fisheries, or are receiving post-conflict psychological support.

In another HAL project providing temporary agricultural jobs, approximately 250 cash-for-work beneficiaries — farmers, unemployed and students — helped sort, store, pack and transport for distribution locally harvested apples, linking apple farmers to marketing outlets through the Central Agricultural Market project, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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