Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Friday, 19 April 2024
Order of Malta launches new agro-humanitarian project in Lebanon :

The Sovereign Order of Malta and its national Association, Order of Malta Lebanon, announced on the  April 17 in Beirut the launch of the ‘Harvesting Hope, Growing Resilience’ agro-humanitarian program to ensure food security, promote economic recovery and support the country’s most vulnerable population groups.


The program, which was presented at the École Supérieure des Affaires in Beirut in the presence of Abbas Hajj Hassan, Lebanon’s Minister of Agriculture – representing the speaker of the Lebanese parliament, several members of government, diplomatic corps and dignitaries – is set in the context of a socio-economic crisis which has caused 80 per cent of the population to live in multidimensional poverty, and in a situation which, due to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has thrown the country into a state of constant alarm.


In the light of these pressing humanitarian challenges, the launch of this initiative is therefore a crucial moment to take on Lebanon’s urgent needs. The agro-humanitarian programme is testimony to the Order of Malta’s commitment in the country. Since 2020, through a wide network of initiatives, the aim of the Order has been to equip communities with the tools and resources necessary to resist and recover effectively from multiple challenges. The Order of Malta currently runs six agro-humanitarian Centers across the country. At present, the agricultural land covered consists of 69.26 per cent of Lebanese territory, with the aim of reaching 75 per cent by the end of this year.


This programme is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in collaboration with Malteser International, and Fondation Bettencourt-Schueller.


The launch event featured speeches by important guests including the Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al Rai who emphasized the importance of preserving Lebanon’s identity, and Sheikh Sami Abdel Khalek, the Representative of the Unitarian Druze Community, who spoke on the Order of Malta’s many long-term interfaith collaborations in Lebanon.


“The focus on the agri-food issue, which is essential for the economic and social growth of this country, and the humanitarian commitment of the Order of Malta here, have given rise to this ambitious and important project, whose aim is to support the country’s most vulnerable groups through the agri-humanitarian sector” noted the Grand Chancellor Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, expressing support to Order of Malta Lebanon.


The President of the Order of Malta in Lebanon Marwan Sehnaoui, addressing the audience, said: ‘As we begin this new chapter in the history of our Association, it is important to reflect on our long-standing commitment to health and social care, which has been the cornerstone of our mission for decades. In 2020, in the midst of the many crises our country was going through, we took the decision to get involved in a third sector that I wanted to call agro-humanitarian, which has managed to take root in the territory in a concrete manner.”