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Supporting vulnerable livestock keeping communities in Lebanon affected by the Syrian crisis
Lebanon has been severely affected by the Syrian crisis which started more than three years ago. The number of people that sought refuge in the country has reached nearly 1 million and does not stop growing. With a total of 316 560 Syrian refugees the Bekaa region is one of the most severely affected by the refugee influx.
This is putting a tremendous pressure on local communities there, which rely mostly on agriculture for their livelihoods and income and whose coping mechanisms are already overstretched. FAO data shows that in Lebanon in general over 20 percent of the heads of household engaged in the agricultural sector are categorized as very poor.
Since 2009 FAO has been actively supporting the recovery and rehabilitation of the dairy sub-sector across Lebanon and in particular in the Bekaa. This multi-year programme is implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture of Lebanon and with the financial support of the Lebanon Recovery Fund (LRF). Many results have been achieved during the last five years among which a significant increase in the milk prices through the improvement in the quality and hygienic standards of milk and dairy products. This has been possible thanks to FAO’s support in terms of equipment, training and capacity building mainly of small and medium livestock farmers.
As a result they have been able to benefit from an increased income and better living conditions. Since the start of the Syrian crisis refuges living in the vicinity of some of the milk collection centers equipped and functioning with FAO support have been getting milk for their families and children.