How monthly food baskets assist displaced families to survive in northern Syria

By | FSL, Latest News

From displacement to another, the suffering of Syrians continues. Hoping to return to their homes one day, the families now are spending their days trying to survive.
The war in which more than 400,000 people have lost their lives and a further 11 million civilians have been displaced from their homes, causing a deep humanitarian crisis in the country and the whole region.

Basic resources like water and shelter are scarce, and millions of children have been uprooted from school and any sense of stability. Harsh winters and hot summers make the life for a displaced person even more difficult. The effects of the conflict are unimaginable.

One fact is very simple: millions of Syrians need our help. According to the U.N., $4.6 billion was required to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Syrians in 2017 — but only a little more than half was received.
The host communities of displaced people, such as those in Idlib and Northern Aleppo, received them and provided shelter, but this is not enough to meet the basic needs of displaced families. Goods and services are expensive and difficult to obtain in many areas devastated by war.

The crucial question facing the head of the family like Mu’taz is how will I feed my family today?
Moataz, who has fled from northern Hama, was able to secure a modest income job in an effort to support his family, but he could not provide enough food for them because of expensive prices.
“When we had no food to eat, we sent our children to borrow from neighbors. Sometimes, we ate less so that our children could eat,” says Moataz’s wife.

This is what happened with the Mu’taz family, like many displaced families, before IhsanRD launched its project of distribution food baskets supported by the World Food Programme. IhsanRD’s team provides monthly food baskets for 19,982 families in Al-Atareb, A’zaz and Daret Ezzah in the camps and within host communities.

This assistance often provides a lifeline for vulnerable families. As food needs are met, Mu’taz can now provide his family with other basic needs besides food.
“Now I do not worry much about getting food how and where. IhsanRD’s food distribution center is close to my home” says Moataz.

What can we do?
In many areas where it works, IhsanRD is implementing food security projects and supporting the livelihoods of affected communities to help them meet their needs and reduce their dependence on aid. Where IhsanRD teams work in several projects to support and rehabilitate bakeries and food security facilities and assist the people and training them on gardening skills and the cultivation of home gardens and support for farmers and cash-for-work projects.

Livestock Support Project

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In Livestock Support Project funded by KSRelief, not only are we delivering cows to the most vulnerable families, but we also follow-up and coach them on techniques to ensure that each family will be able to produce dairy and other products to rely on itself and earn a living.

Rehabilitation Of main bakery in Mohambel

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At IhsanRD, we believe that our mission to support food security in Syria is not limited to emergency response in the form of food baskets, but also to provide sustainable services through the rehabilitation of bakeries and different food facilities. Watch how IhsanRD’s team rehabilitates the main bakery in Mohambel in partnership with Welthungerhilfe and funded by German Foreign Office, serving more than 50,000 people in 12 villages around the town in Idlib.

Story of Thabit – Home Gardening Project

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In the Home Gardening Project, we do not only provide agricultural tools and resources, but IhsanRD’s team also trains beneficiaries to be more productive and self-reliant. In the video, watch how Thabit benefits from the training and support provided by IhsanRD to convert his land into an income source for his family.

Funded by King Salman Humanitarian Aid And Relief Centre, IhsanRD launched a new project to support small businesses in northern Syria

By | FSL, Latest News

Believing in the ability of the Syrians to make living and produce, and towards empowering the most vulnerable people in society, IhsanRD has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a number of local councils in northern Syria in order to start a new project to support small businesses in the region that will give beneficiary families the opportunity to be self-reliant and take the lead in insurance of food and decent living.

This Project is part of a series of projects funded by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, in several Syrian governorates aimed at strengthening the resilience of the Syrians in face of the difficult conditions they have suffered since the beginning of the war. These projects are also directed at moving beneficiaries from a state of dependence on food aid to a state of active work and production.
The Small Businesses Support Project in northern Syria is being implemented over a period of 6 month. Afterward, it will expand to several villages in the northern countryside of Aleppo. The project provides support to 150 beneficiaries selected from IDPs and host communities from the most vulnerable people.

The project activities include two main phases:
The first phase of the project (training), where the training will be provided to the beneficiaries on the design and planning of small business projects, including the budget planning and development of the project strategy and considering the principles of security and safety and environmental conservation during the implementation of the business. As well as practical training on how to fill the project proposal to be submitted to the selection committee for projects to be supported.

The second phase of the project (support and consultation) After the trainees submit the project proposals, a specialized team from IhsanRD will study the submitted proposals and grant approvals for the projects that meet the criteria. The beneficiaries will be supported by materials and equipment necessary for them to start their own business.

Finally, IhsanRD’s team will provide technical support and consultation to ensure the continuity and success of the project. “By supporting small businesses, we aim at securing stable income for beneficiaries and to give them the opportunity to start their own businesses that support their independence away from relying on traditional relief assistance,” said Mr. Loay, project manager at IhsanRD.

Supporting agricultural activities and livestock in several governorates of Syria, funded by King Salman Relief Center

By | FSL, Latest News

One would be impressed by the Syrians’ determination to continue their lives in the face of a fierce war that has been going on for more than seven years and has damaged most of the infrastructure in many parts of Syria. It has become difficult for the Syrians to advance production and secure a living under these harsh circumstances. Indeed, there is an urgent need for emergency response with food aid, shelter, hygiene kits and winter baskets for more than 6.1 million internally displaced persons, especially with the recent high level of fighting that has led to the displacement of about 300,000 civilians in Idlib governorate, in addition to the displacement of a large number of people from rural Damascus and northern Homs. However, most Syrians prefer to produce their own crops and earn their livelihood rather than simply getting food aid baskets. This has led many humanitarian organizations to establish food security and livelihood support projects in a way that allows people to have a decent and sustainable livelihood.

An example of this is the project launched by King Salman Humanitarian Aid And Relief Centre to enable the most in need families of displaced people and the host communities in a number of Syrian governorates to support agricultural activities and support the livestock sector. The project is being implemented in cooperation with Ihsan Relief and Development.

The project consists of two main sections. The first is to support the agricultural activities in the western Aleppo countryside and the Qalqat al-Mideq area in Hama governorate. The second section is to support the livestock sector in Daraa governorate and in the A’azaz area in the northern Aleppo countryside.

The section of supporting agricultural activities, is based on two stages: the first was the support of 3390 resident families and 3,390 displaced families through the distribution of sufficient seeds for the cultivation of 3.5 dunums of summer vegetables (tomato – pepper – eggplant – cucumber). 0.5 Donum (home gardens for displaced families). A ​​relationship is established between the beneficiaries and the displaced by giving preference to the host population who agree to give 0.5 dunums of their land to a displaced family free of charge for planting them as a garden for the summer vegetables to be cultivated. The project team provides balanced fertilizers (NPK), agricultural pesticides and a fuel to support supplemental irrigation of 60 liters per beneficiary.

The second stage of supporting agricultural activities in the project: IhsanRD is providing sufficient seeds to plant 5 dunums per beneficiary at a rate of 25 kg per dunum to 3390 beneficiaries, distributed according to the importance of the wheat crop in each area, availability of areas, population, availability of natural resources. The beneficiaries are supported by NPK compound fertilizer at a rate of 15 kg per dunum to meet the wheat crop needs throughout its biological stages. As well as the provision of agricultural pesticides and the distribution of fuel vouchers to support supplementary irrigation for resident and displaced families. Courses will also be held, including technical training for the target farmers, to increase their knowledge skills on the best agricultural practices for growing wheat crops, in line with basic agricultural practices.

The second section of the project supports livestock in two activities: The first is the distribution of 4020 sheep with fodder for three months, and 2010 families will benefit of this activity where each family gets two sheep heads. The distribution will be carried out in A’azaz and Daraa areas, with securing vaccines for sheeps.

The second activity is to provide 100 dairy cows with fodder for two consecutive months for 100 beneficiary families in the mentioned areas.

The necessary medicines and vaccines will be provided and the veterinary supervision of these cows for six months, during this period, a portion of milk (5 kg) of each cow will be taken daily and distributed to 100 displaced families in the same targeted areas.

Dr. Mustafa, a project manager at IhsanRD, expressed the importance of this project by saying: ” The need for Syrians is no longer limited to the demand for sustenance through the monthly food basket, but the need to feel their ability to produce has motivated them to withstand the harsh conditions they face. This project, which is being funded by King Salman Humanitarian Aid And Relief Centre, is a very important step in the right direction towards empowering people with the ability to secure their daily lives and live in dignity.”

Rehabilitation of Kafranbul Bakery

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Receiving warm fresh bread puts smiles on the faces of Syrian people.

IhsanRD’s team continues to rehabilitate bakeries and distribute bread to people inside Syria.

Food processing center in Kafranbul

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Cheese, yogurt and labneh are essential dishes at the Syrians’ breakfast.
In food processing centers, the mothers make milk products that are truly unparalleled.

Watch the magic work that takes place within the food processing centers supported by IhsanRD.

IhsanRD team continues to implement the rehabilitation project of Mehemble bakery in the governorate of Idlib

By | FSL, Latest News

Bread is an essential food for people in general and for the Syrians in particular. Perhaps Syrians are the most people who appreciate and feel the grace of bread, so that if a Syrian saw a piece of bread lying on the ground he would hasten to take it and wipe the dust out of it then put it aside in a high place where no foot trample this piece of bread. Today, the blessing of bread has become a hard to reach for many in Syria, after the years of war have exhausted the infrastructure and caused most of the food facilities and bakeries being out of service because of shelling, especially in areas that came out of control of the Syrian regime.

Abu Rami, a resident of Idlib province in northern Syria, have to cross more than 15 kilometers every day to secure a bread bag for his family. He expressed the magnitude of the difficulties he faces: “Sometimes I take the distance on foot. It’s true that it’s exhausted but I do not always have the fare”. then Abu Rami continued: “I used to bring bread from the bakery in my town, but it has been out of service because of the damage from the shelling for more than four years,” he said.

In an effort to enhance food security and support the livelihoods of the most people in need in Syria, Ihsan Relief and Development, in cooperation with WHH, is implementing a number of rehabilitation projects for bakeries in the north of Syria funded by the German Foreign Office. IhsanRD team in Idleb Governorate is still working on rehabilitating and equipping the mechanized bakery in Mehemble, which provides service to 11 towns in Ariha area by rehabilitating and repairing the damaged machines and renovating the building. This will contribute to the provision of bread to more than 20,000 residents of the area with a production card up to 5.5 tons of bread per day.

It is worth mentioning that IhsanRD has so far rehabilitated 4 automatic bakeries in the towns of Mehemble and Kafranbal in the province of Idlib and the towns of Rastan and Talbisa in the province of Homs.

Gardening and training, these are the main aspects of the new IhsanRD project to support agriculture

By | FSL, Latest News

In Syria, which has been suffering from a continuous war for more than seven years in which the number of victims exceeded 500 thousand Syrians, caused the displacement of half the population, and damaged the economic and agricultural pillar in one of the oldest countries in the world that knew and flourished agriculture. Not long ago, before the outbreak of recent events, farming provided a quarter of Syria’s economic output and employed a quarter of its workforce.
However, the systematic war and bombing in areas that have been out of control of the Syrian regime since 2011 have destroyed infrastructures, such as irrigation canals and grain silos, and crippled a state system that once provided farmers with seeds and purchased their crops. A sustained drought has only exacerbated the humanitarian crisis.
IhsanRD has intervened to assist farmers and vulnerable families in IDP’s host communities in order to enhance their ability to produce the various crops and food needed to feed their families and children.
Dr. Munther, Coordinator of Food Security and Livelihoods Program at IhsanRD, expressed the organization’s strategy and vision for its projects: “Relief baskets and emergency response cannot last forever, so projects need to be launched in order to help communities in starting their own businesses, to meet their food needs. We are trying to help people stand up and rely on themselves to start generating their own income.”
IhsanRD in collaboration with ACTED International has launched a new agriculture support project that includes two main activities:
The first activity is supporting for 3600 households to plant their houses’ gardens by supplying them with seeds, drip irrigation systems, tanks and agricultural tools.
This part of the project will extend over a period of 3 years so that each year will have new beneficiaries. Each family will receive two sets of gardening inputs per year for the winter and summer seasons. It will suffice for a garden area of about 1 dunum and provide an additional supplement to the food needs of each household.
The provision of inputs to the beneficiaries in the form of vouchers distributed in summer and winter can be replaced by a set of garden tools and inputs that were designed and studied in advance in the local stores. These kits will increase the accessibility of families to low-cost food and improve their food diversity.
Umm Rami was displaced along with her four children from the southern countryside of Aleppo towards Idlib governorate. She has no income source after her husband’s absence two years ago, forcing her to work in the farms adjacent to the town where she lives now. This prompted her to cultivate the small plot of land attached to her temporary home with her children after her application for the IhsanRD home garden support project was accepted.
“I’m very excited to start planting the garden behind my house, so my family will get the vegetables they need in their food instead of getting them at a high market price,” says Umm Rami.
This part of the project also includes 6 practical training during the duration of the project. Focusing on improved agricultural practices, best practices, and climate-smart agricultural techniques. Training will be complemented to include a section on sharing experiences from the past year to support a review and improvements in agricultural support programming among humanitarian and development actors. The training includes topics on plant care, harvesting techniques, and seed collection and production techniques so that farmers can sustain themselves after the end of the project.
The second part of the project is aimed at supporting farmers in agriculture and training in the area of Bensh, where the plowing service is provided to olive farmers. 500 farmers will benefit from this activity, equivalent to 1250 acres of plowed lands. In addition to providing support in the cultivation of wheat to farmers by providing them with agricultural inputs and the practical training of about 140 farmers.