In order to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable families in Northern Syria, local organizations are working to provide livestock-based resources to the create a seed for small projects and provide financial income, especially for families deprived of their breadwinners by the war.
Initiated by “Watan” organization, early in November, the project presents sheep and fodder to 500 poor families west of Idlib governorate.
The project targets women who have lost their husbands in the war, with the aim of creating small projects that provide permanent financial income for these families.
Assessing its humanitarian needs for 2018, the United Nations estimates that 69% of Syrians live below the poverty line.
The distribution of sheep included the towns of Qurqania, Merat Elshalaf, Ras Elhisn, Radwa, Barisha and Sheikh Yousef in the Harem area, south of Idlib.
The family share is three heads of sheep and 300 kg of fodder, under the supervision of specialist veterinarians.
The Campaign’s Objectives
The organization aims to create small projects for target families that have been working in this field and have lost their animals because of the current circumstances and thus generate stable income sources, Ziad Hatem, head of the “Advocacy and Media Team” at the organization, told Enab Baladi.
Hatem added that these projects are part of the FAO-sponsored “Food Security and Livelihoods” program, which has provided support to more than 2,100 beneficiaries of this kind in Northern Syria.
The program’s policy also focuses on projects aimed at breaking the poverty cycle, meeting emergency food needs, and implementing projects to promote economic and social development, he said.
Um al-Abd, a woman from the town of Barisha, west of Idlib, told Enab Baladi that the project gave her great hope to meet the needs of her family, including her children and grandchildren, especially since her son has failed to find a job to feed his children.
The fifty years old woman described the project as far better than in-kind or financial aid, because it provides long-term financial and food benefits to the family, especially since it is supported by enough fodder for the current duration at least.
The cost of sheep and fodder provided to each of the families is estimated at about $ 400, equivalent to approximately 190,000 Syrian Pounds, in addition to the follow up that specialists will be conducting.
Targeting the families that have lost their breadwinners, widows, divorcees and couples with disabilities, according to Hatem, is a step towards meeting the daily need of these families to be the start of similar projects or, on a larger scale, an action within the frame that seeks to advance economic and social development.
Privileges that Accompanied the Distribution
The project owners committed themselves to high terms policy of distribution as to provide good types of sheep as well as fodder, in accordance with the privileges developed by a team of specialists, including veterinarians, who supervised the distribution.
According to the organization’s media officer, Ziad Hatem, the terms of the “Watan” organization included giving a training course by the veterinarians to the beneficiary families to teach them how to raise sheep and deal with them, as well as a book explaining the most important diseases that might target the sheep and the types of vaccines to be given.
The medical team also carried out two vaccination campaigns against sheep smallpox and enterotoxemia throughout Harem area, including sheep distributed under the previous project.