Mon 21 Sep 2020

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Campaign to distribute “wheat” grain-free of costs to people of As-Suwayda 

“Wheat distribution” campaign in Shaba, As-Suwayda- (this photo is taken by Samer al-Khatib, responsible for free wheat distribution campaign)

“Wheat distribution” campaign in Shaba, As-Suwayda- (this photo is taken by Samer al-Khatib, responsible for free wheat distribution campaign)

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“ I received 20 kilograms of wheat from the volunteer teams, and this amount will help me feed my family and spared me some costs that I was not uble to afford,” said Muhammad al-Hadi (a pseudonym and a beneficiary of the free wheat distribution campaign launched in Shaba, As-Suwayda) to Enab Baladi.

Muhammad al-Hadi pointed out that the price of a kilo of wheat in the local market exceeds 500 Syrian pounds (1 USD= 2,120 SYP), while the price of a kilo of bulgur is 1,200 SYP, and he expressed his gratitude for the campaign and showed profound appreciation for the people in charge of it.

About two weeks ago, photos of wheat began to circulate on local pages in As-Suwayda, to give rise to optimism and hope to the people of the governorate, which is experiencing dire living conditions, like the rest of the Syrian governorates, due to the high prices of all products and items sold in the local markets.

The free wheat distribution campaign was launched in the Shahba area, north of As-Suwayda, and included a volunteer team from the region’s residents, in addition to expatriates from the governorate who are scattered in several countries.

Voluntary team for free distribution of wheat

Samer al-Khatib, responsible for the free wheat distribution campaign and resident of the Shaba area, told Enab Baladi, “ In light of the deteriorating living conditions in the governorate of As-Suwayda, the citizens will resort to low-cost solutions in the hope of a breakthrough, and there are necessary materials on which citizens depend here in As-Suwayda in their food as wheat.

Al-Khatib added, “We formed a voluntary team to distribute the wheat grain-free of cost to the people in the Shahba area, and we also set up a work mechanism, and a team was formed to weigh and package wheat in bags weighing five kilograms. He added that another team received the task of distributing the wheat bags to the families on lists containing beneficiaries’ names that could be increased, and there is a large segment of the people who help us in the distribution process.

Regarding the quantities of wheat distributed, al-Khatib said, “So far we have distributed wheat in four stages to 381 families, 20 kilograms for each family. Besides, he highlighted that wheat will be distributed to the 53 firefighters and cleaners,” explaining that the campaign will go on until they run out of wheat and will be renewed if donors provide them with more wheat. 

Cash donations not accepted 

Al-Khatib told Enab Baladi about the provision of wheat, saying, “Many expatriates from the governorate in several countries, such as the UAE, Austria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Oman, Denmark, and Palestine, contacted us to donate.”

He explained that the team does not accept cash donations, as the amount of money is transferred from the donor to his family in the governorate who buys wheat and sends it to the team in the Shahba area.

He stated that the team’s members donated a quantity of wheat by purchasing it from merchants who, in turn, sold it at a nominal price to contribute to the success of the campaign. Al-Khatib added that until now, the team has not faced any difficulties.

In the past months, As-Suwayda saw huge fires of unknown causes, which devoured large areas of agricultural lands and crops such as wheat and barley, in addition to fruit-bearing and forestry trees. As a result, groups of people from the governorate were formed to guard the lands throughout the province.

 

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