SDC Regional Newsletter: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq - Volume 1, Issue 1, September 2012
The Swiss Foreign minister discuss the Syria crisis in Lebanon
The Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter paid an official visit to Lebanon on 27 and 28 July 2012. Mr. Burkhalter reaffirmed Switzerland’s support to the government and the people of Lebanon in this difficult regional context. He also confirmed Switzerland’s commitment in pro-moting stability in Lebanon, as a multi-confessional country and immediate neighbor of Syria. Mr.Burkhalter noted that through SDC, Switzerland allocated around CHF 10 million to assist the ongoing humanitarian aid to support those affected by the Syrian crisis.
Responding to the emerging needs of the hosting communities in Lebanon
Thousands of Syrian refugees have fled the country to Lebanon and other neighboring coun-tries seeking refuge from the ongoing violence. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed that during the month of August, they have witnessed huge increase in the number of Syrian refugees arriving to Lebanon . Around 51,000 Syrians have registered or applied to register with UNHCR in Lebanon.
Most of these refugees are concentrated in the Northern part of Lebanon and Bekaa valley where it’s considered among the poorest in Lebanon.
In an effort to minimize the economic burden on the hosting communities and the refugees, SDC is currently implementing a cash project to meet their emerging needs.
The cash support project is implemented between SDC and in close collaboration with the Lebanese authorities.
SDC supports the Syrian farmers and herders affected by the crises
The escalation of the conflict in Syria has greatly affected farmers and herders who depend on livestock and agriculture as the main source of livelihood. According to humanitarian organizations, it is estimated that thousands of rural farmers and herder families in different Syrian governorates are facing difficulties accessing their fields and are being challenged with the shortage of animal feed because of drought.
With the aim of supporting around 5,000 vulnerable families who lost their only source of living, SDC is financially con-tributing to FAO project in order to restore livelihood oppor-tunities for those families. The project is carried out through providing them with 1431 Metric tons of animal feed and 440 of female pregnant sheep, along with 33 Metric tons of ani-mal feed to secure the sheep health.