FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

FAO Puts Forward Recommendations for Social Protection in Agricultural and Rural Communities in Lebanon

A Lebanese farmer feeding her livestock in Bekaa, Lebanon.

Beirut – 5 February, 2016 -- Food and Agriculture   Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has put forward several   recommendations on social protection in agricultural communities in Lebanon  following a workshop, entitled "Support To Social Protection Policies In   Rural and Agricultural Communities," which was organized under the   patronage of the Minister of Agriculture in Lebanon, Mr. Akram Chehayeb last   week.

The workshop was held in the   presence of FAO representative in Lebanon, Dr. Maurice Saade, the representative of the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Ali Yassin, and was   attended by the representatives of the relevant ministries, local and   international organizations, agricultural syndicates, agricultural   cooperatives and the Union of mutual funds.

Addressing several issues, the   workshop focused on the importance of social protection in improving the   living conditions of farmers, the judicial regulations and proposed draft   laws, and the role of mutual funds, agricultural syndicates and cooperatives   in enhancing the rural community living conditions.

In his opening statement,  FAO representative in Lebanon, Dr. Maurice   Saade, stressed on the importance of supporting and securing social   protection for farmers and workers in the agricultural sector, saying:   "Social protection consists of policies and programs designed to reduce   poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labour markets, diminishing   people's exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to manage economic   and social risks, such as unemployment, exclusion, sickness, disability and   old age.”

Mr. Ali Yassin, representative   of the Minister of Agriculture, noted that the most vulnerable community that   feels threatened in Lebanon is the rural agricultural community, for the   agricultural season, as described by Mr. Yassin, has no added value.   "This sector has suffered from various natural disasters and crises   which lead to the loss of the production and no one aided the farmers in   discharging it," he explained.

Following the workshop, the   following recommendations were put forward:

- Unify the data at the Ministry of Agriculture in order to   create a unified farmers’ registry that allows the farmer access to social,   agricultural and health services.

- Conduct a social and economic feasibility study to provide   social coverage for the farmer through mutual funds.

- Conduct a study on the possibility of providing   comprehensive coverage for farmers through the National Social Security Fund.

- Provide social protection for the poorest farmers in the   rural areas in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of   Social Affairs, as part of the "National Poverty Targeting   Program", funded by the World Bank.

- Set standards for Decent Work, Occupational Safety and   Health in agricultural work in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture   and the Ministry of Labour and the International Labour Organization.

The State of Food and Agriculture 2015 published by FAO today finds   that in poor countries, social protection schemes benefit 2.1 billion   people in developing countries in various ways -- including keeping 150   million people out of extreme poverty.

To view the full report: http://www.fao.org/publications/sofa/2015/en/

To view the webpage of social protection: http://www.fao.org/social-protection/en/


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