Lebanon, once known as the “Switzerland of the Middle East”, is now undergoing its worst economic crisis since 1850, according to the World Bank. Indeed, the situation is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe: more than half of the population is said to be living below the poverty line. “The economic and financial crisis is likely to rank among the 10, or even three, most severe episodes of crisis at the global level since the mid-19th century,” the report says.
The ongoing devaluation of the national currency has permanently destroyed the purchasing power of the Lebanese. To this must be added the multiple shortages of basic goods: medicines, hygiene products, petrol, fuel oil, electricity…
With an economy based on the banking system and tourism, Lebanon produces little and must therefore import 80% of the goods consumed, including fertilisers, seeds, cattle feed and various materials. The agricultural sector is therefore in agony. Imports, which must be paid for in pounds at black market prices, have become unaffordable for many farmers.
This economic crisis has a serious consequence for the country, that of the exile of its inhabitants. Most Lebanese now have only one idea in mind: leave the country for a better situation. “Not only is my salary worthless, but I can’t even withdraw it from the bank,” the Lebanese despair. “How can I stay here without being able to feed my children properly?
The situation is dramatic! This is why SOS Chrétiens d’Orient has decided to react in order to allow the Lebanese to regain their financial independence and maintain their love for their country. In short: to re-root the Lebanese Christians.
The project, carried out in partnership with the local civil and religious authorities, aims to provide 75 families in 6 Christian villages in the Chouf region with thyme plants, land and equipment. Once mature, the plants will be sold on the local market and will enable these families to meet their primary needs.
It is essential to help Lebanese families to stay in their villages and work their land while ensuring a financial return.
Although the region suffered a lot during the war, our villages never had the chance to benefit from a development project. Your project is a first. Thank you.