Food Security and Livelihoods Program
B&Z has prioritized its food security and livelihood sectors since the early stages of its establishment in Lebanon. In 2014, it began supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through its community centers by providing vocational and technical training essential for their success.
Through their Food security & Livelihoods program, Basmeh & Zeitooneh contribute to reducing affected population, refugees & host vulnerability through immediate assistance and contributing to stabilizing the local economic situation in all its intervention areas.
The Program has three objectives:
- Stabilizing the Livelihoods to meet the urgent needs of crisis-affected groups through emergency employment creation and short-term income generation. Besides supporting and empowering local enterprises, specifically those vital for the local economy, giving particular attention to women's participation.
- Local economic recovery through increasing the access to medium long-term employment opportunities through partnerships with the private sector by supporting MSMEs, and offering vocational training and building necessary skills to men and women based on market needs. In addition to emergency cash interventions like cash for work to rehabilitate productive public infrastructure, focusing on women's participation.
- Adopting and prioritizing Digital Livelihoods technologies, Shifting from face-to-face to digital technologies services and sales, focuses on digital and virtual services and platforms to stabilize and recover enterprises, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic is not ending soon. These digital technologies should be used for training and vocational training as well, especially when internet access is available in the targeted areas.
Cash For Work:
With the support of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development - CAFOD and the Scotish Catholic International Aid Fund - SCIAF, and in coordination with Bourj Hammoud Municipality, B&Z launched a cash-for-work intervention to rehabilitate public infrastructures damaged by the Beirut blast. This will provide short-term income generation opportunities to unemployed people from the host and refugee communities residing within the areas and themselves affected by the explosion, prioritizing women's engagement in the intervention and providing equal opportunities for them.
In collaboration with Norwegian People's Aid and in coordination with the local authorities and municipalities in central and west Bekaa, B&Z has implemented since 2019 a Cash For Work project since 2019.
The project recruits people from both host and refugee communities, to clean and rehabilitate the Litani River's irrigation canals. This will provide a stable and clean water supply to farmers to increase their production and short-term income for workers to improve their financial situation.
Hydroponic Farming Project
Tripoli, a neglected city in Northern Lebanon, has been suffering for years from poor infrastructure, no access to services or job opportunities, and a high population density of locals and refugees. The city is witnessing an increase in child labor due to the urgent need for food and cash.
In partnership with the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development - CAFOD, and in coordination with the local authorities, B&Z has launched a Hydroponic Farming pilot project in Tripoli, to increase corps production and introduce alternative farming techniques to solve limited access to land irrigation water in cities. Hydroponic Farming is a climate-smart, innovative, efficient, and effective technology that produces more nutritious food with at least 80% less water and using less farming land.
The project targets 30 direct and 150 indirect refugee beneficiaries in Tripoli, allowing them to become financially independent. B&Z plans to learn and adjust this project to replicate it on a larger scale and in different areas.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise support:
Our Upcycling and Sewing workshop in Nabaa, in partnership with ARCS and San Zeno Foundation, has helped women learn new skills and techniques through vocational training and in-kind grants to help them support themselves and start-up their businesses.
B&Z is also creating an Online Learning Lab Approach for Youth with a training program about social entrepreneurship through a four-phase program. The learning is focused on entrepreneurship and social impact solutions, and the tools and basic knowledge they need to kick-start their initiatives.
After the Beirut Explosion, B&Z took the initiative and started approaches to support MSMEs to recover or at least proceed with their operations by rehabilitating their physical and capital damages, purchasing the new equipment and supplies, and helping them in paying late wages for employees.
In March 2021, Basmeh & Zeitooneh will launch a new economic recovery project in partnership with Expertise France, in the framework of SHABEKE program. This project will support 40 Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in resuming their businesses and empowering women-lead groups to start generating income. This project will target Lebanese and Syrian refugees residing in urban areas affected by the Beirut port blast and the economic crisis.