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Backyard poultry in Syria for an enhanced access to nutrient–rich foods at home and in communities

Backyard poultry in Syria for an enhanced access to nutrient–rich foods at home and in communities

23/07/2014

It took FAO and its partners in Syria nearly three months to complete the distribution of poultry packages in the tormented governorate of Rural Damascus, but the result was worth the efforts. From the beginning of April until the end of June, 45 000 laying hens and 150 metric tons of poultry feed were distributed to 3 000 families living in more than 100 villages in Rural Damascus. This assistance is contributing not only to the preservation of backyard poultry in areas heavily affected by the conflict, but also to the enhanced availability and access to micronutrients and protein-rich foods for some 21,000 vulnerable people.

Distribution of poultry packages

Since she lost her husband, Ruba, a widow from Madamiyet Elqalmun village, is struggling to provide for her five children. Without a stable source of income, she can only afford to buy basic food products and the daily meals of the households rarely include fresh ingredients. Receiving FAO’s support has made Ruba’s life a little bit easier. Every day, she gets five or six eggs from her 15 laying hens and can prepare eggeh, the favorite dish of her children, every time that they want it. She does not need a lot of resources to look after her hens and can feed them with food scraps even after the 50 kg of poultry feed provided by FAO finishe.

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Rural women are among those who are most suffering from the ongoing conflict as even before the crisis, they were the most affected by poverty. This is the reason why nearly 70 percent of the families supported by FAO with poultry packages are women headed households.

The provision of this much needed assistance was possible thanks to funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Support to backyard poultry and vegetable production is a key element of FAO’s strategy and programme in Syria. Under the 2014 Syrian Arab Republic Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan FAO calls for USD 4 000 000 to support some 112 000 people with poultry and vegetable packages.

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