The 17th of October 2019 marked the beginning of the « thawra », also known as the “October Revolution” sparked by economic and political grievances fueled by thirty years of political corruption. Protesters in Lebanon, and around the world, took to the streets to fight for a better Lebanon, bring down the country’s political order, and demand access to their basic needs including water and electricity.
During the past years, Lebanon, which is highly reliant on imported products, has experienced the 3rd highest inflation rate, the devaluation of the Lebanese pound which lost more than 85% of its value, and the rise of unemployment.
The financial crisis, coupled with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, brought forward several important needs. A strong need for social cooperation. A need for job creation. A need for affordable alternatives to the expensive imported goods.
In order to respond to these needs, Fondation Saradar’s priorities and focus shifted to the development of a food security program through several initiatives:
- Partnership with the Order of Malta Lebanon
- Partnership with Tantet Men Lebnen: direct donations, which help feeding underprivileged families
- Establishment of a sustainable and eco-friendly farm, with crop and/or animal products
Through these initiatives we aim to:
- Improve food security by boosting the food supply chain in Lebanon and ensuring the production of local affordable products.
- Improve income.
- Create jobs and maintain rural employment.
- Promote and encourage small-scale peasant farming and agriculture.
- Promote and encourage Lebanese products abroad through exports.
‘Projet Agro-Humanitaire’ in partnership with the Order of Malta Lebanon
We have supported 300 small to medium farmers across 4 Community Health Centres of the Order of Malta by providing a total number of 1’200’000 seedlings ready for plantation.
Each farmer has benefited from 4000 seedlings which are enough to plant 2700 m2. In exchange, they have returned to us a portion of their harvest which has been redistributed to underprivileged families.
Striving to contribute to Lebanon’s community health by supporting small-scale farmers to maintain production and improve their resilience, the Order of Malta has
launched the next phase of the agro-humanitarian project “Healthy We Grow”, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with the support of Malteser International. The project aims to provide vulnerable farmers with natural, human, and physical assets to pursue their farming activities.
Access of small farmers to basic agriculture assets became extremely difficult due to the multi-dimensional crises that hit Lebanon since October 2019. The overall objective of the project is to increase food availability and accessibility by strengthening domestic production and creating jobs in the agriculture sector. The project’s field implementation is lead in partnership with Fondation Saradar. The team will conduct outreach activities to selected 1035 vulnerable farmers living in underprivileged communities. The farmers will return 5% of their harvest to be distributed to families in need.
In a period of 6 months, we have served 1450 small farmers. We have distributed 4,3 million vegetable seedlings, 92,5 tons of potatoes, 1,4 tons of beans. More than 350 hectares have been planted. The team has conducted 30 capacity building sessions, and more than 2000 field visits.
Tantet Men Lebnen
Tantet Men Lebnen is a group of friends and relatives who came together in December 2019. They distribute food to approximately 500 families in need in different regions of Lebanon.