Saturday, 07 July 2012

Helping cooperatives in the Bekaa Valley

BEIRUT, 7 July 2012 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and its partners in Lebanon today delivered new equipment worth some EUR 78,000 to two cooperatives in the Bekaa Valley.

The cooperative “Zadat El Khayrat” in Bednayel and “Cooperative Association for Beekeepers” in Baalbeck received the equipment as part of the "Community Empowerment and Livelihoods Enhancement Project" (CELEP) funded by the Italian Government, and implemented by UNIDO in partnership with the Italian NGO, the Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria (ICU), in collaboration with the Ministries of Industry and Agriculture.

The CELEP project has been developed to empower conflict affected communities in Lebanon through the revitalization of their productive capacities. It will strengthen and sustain the livelihood development process by revitalizing selected agro-processing enterprises and other economic activities in the south and the north of Lebanon and the Bekaa valley. The project has so far upgraded 32 small and medium agro enterprises, with approximately 950 households benefitting from this support.

Receiving the equipment, Hamad Jaafar, the president of the Cooperative Association for Beekeepers in Baalbeck, said that the wax foundation sheet machine, the first of its kind in the Bekaa Valley, will help enhance the quality and decrease the cost of production of honey.

Raghida El Masri, president of the Cooperative Association of Zadat El Khayrat in Bednayel, said that the new equipment will help producers of essential oil and jam products, as well as in job creation and women empowerment in the region.

The Minister of Agriculture, Hussein Hajj Hassan, said the ministry was working to improve market access for local agricultural products and praised the progressive cooperation that is on-going for this project with the Ministry of Industry, the UNIDO and ICU.  

The Ambassador of Italy, Giuseppe Morabito, commended the efforts of the Government of Lebanon to enhance the agro-industrial sector and highlighted the close and continuous cooperation between Italy and UNIDO.

For more information, please contact:

Khaled El-Mekwad
UNIDO Representative in Lebanon

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