UN DEVELOPMENT INDEX*Rank: 122 out of 191
People supported per year1,800
Thematic focusAgriculture and Nutrition
Food & Nutrition
Voice, Inclusion & Cohesion
Governance & Civic Space
Helvetas has been operating since 2019 in Lebanon, a country rocked by many years of economic, financial and political crises. Mass protests broke out across the country in fall 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic further inflamed the situation, as did the devastating explosion in the port of Beirut in August 2020 that left 300,000 people homeless. Helvetas and a partner organization jointly provided emergency aid by distributing food parcels to the most vulnerable families.
Thought it was once known as the “Switzerland of the Middle East,” nowadays Lebanon is on the brink of economic collapse. Rampant inflation is raising the price of electricity, gas and food beyond the budgets of a large section of the population. This situation has had an impact on food security, with many inhabitants surviving only through the support of overseas relatives.
Strengthening food security
Helvetas has joined forces with a partner organization to support farming families and improve food security for local people. We are providing material support in the form of equipment to farmers’ groups in the hinterland who can no longer afford imported auxiliary products. This assistance is designed to allow them to sustain their crop production, particularly for fruit and vegetables. The groups also benefit from training and coaching sessions on how to cultivate their land more sustainably.
Helvetas has also jointly started a market in Beirut where producers can sell their crops without losing money to intermediaries. The other goal of this initiative is to ensure that the inhabitants of neighborhoods severely affected by the port explosion have direct contact with producers and access to affordable fruit and vegetables.
Enhancing the digital skills of civil society organizations
In addition to the food security aspects of our activities, Helvetas has implemented a project in Lebanon that aims to build the digital capabilities of civil society organizations. Carefully selected organizations have benefited from this support, which was conducted by a specialist local partner. The goal was to enable them to devise a digital strategy and incorporate ICT into their work. This helped them streamline their operations and sustainably improve the services they provide to their communities.