This spring marks the beginning of the seventh year of the Syrian conflict. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people, notably children, are bearing the brunt of a horrific war that has forced half the country’s population from their homes and caused more than 13 million people to require humanitarian assistance.
The Foodgrains Bank has responded to the crisis since 2011, and continues to do so with four projects committed in Syria and Lebanon this month worth a combined total of $7 million.
One project, through Foodgrains Bank member Mennonite Central Committee Canada and working with Syrian partner Forum for Development, Culture and Dialogue, is providing 6,000 vulnerable households in Syria with a food basket each month for the next year. The food basket contains things like rice, wheat, pasta, tomato paste, chickpeas and canned meat. The total value of the project is $3,100,000.
Another project, through Foodgrains Bank member Canadian Baptist Ministries, is responding to the needs of Syrians who have fled the violence in their home country and are living as refugees in Zahle, Lebanon.
There are over one million Syrian refugees who have fled to Lebanon, straining the tiny country’s resources.
Unable to legally work, many Syrian families find themselves living in deplorable conditions.
Through the project, implemented locally by the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development, 525 Syrian families are receiving monthly food baskets. The baskets help families stretch their limited savings and anything they can earn from working odd jobs to cover things like rent and health care. The project total is $797,000.
Other projects committed in April include:
- A food assistance project in Lebanon through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $2,000,000 and benefitting 4,200 people.
- A food assistance project in Lebanon through World Renew, totaling $1,088,000 and benefitting 3,750 people.
- An agriculture and livelihoods project in Haiti through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $197,000 and benefitting 22,000 people.
- A food assistance project in Iraq through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $1,180,000 and benefitting 5,800 people.
- A nutrition project in Nepal through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $460,000 and benefitting 8,700 people.
- An agriculture and livelihoods project in Zimbabwe through Mennonite Central Committee Canada, totaling $128,000 and benefitting 2,500 people.
Projects supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank are undertaken with support from the Government of Canada.
[Amanda Thorsteinsson, Canadian Foodgrains Bank communications coordinator