Qatar Fund Development for (QFFD) has announced reaching an advanced stage in the project of supporting activities in the northern region of Sahel Al Rouj, with a budget of USD 176,317 out of the total approved budget of USD 546,777. The implementation of the project, which started in January 2017, will continue until the end of March this year. This project is being carried out by the Qatari Red Crescent (QRC) and is a continuation of the joint efforts of the two parties to mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis, which has been going on for more than six years.
Sahel Al Rouj is one of the most important plains in northern Syria and is a major food source, as well as a source of income for tens of thousands of families living there. As such, one of the main reasons for the adoption of the project is the weakness in the agricultural productivity in these areas, which was a distinct agricultural location. However, the incidents in Syria in recent years have resulted in poor agricultural production; farmers are forced to rely on low-productivity rain-fed agriculture or individual artisan wells, resulting in high agricultural costs and the reluctance of many farmers to cultivate their lands or rely on relief assistance, which led to a sharp decline in agricultural production.
The project targets the restoration of the 5 kilometers-length irrigation concrete channel, the rehabilitation of sub and main gates, the rehabilitation of existing power stations, the rehabilitation of existing pumps, the provision of well accessories, the supply of two generators to operate the pumps, the provision of a 525 m3 / h pump and the fuel required to support supplementary wheat crop irrigation.
Executive Director of the Development Projects Department at QFFD, Misfer Al Shahwani said that the project is one of the most vital development projects, as it provides food support through the provision of agricultural materials, as well as self-sufficiency for a large number of families who relied on food aid, and contribute to the provision of basic foodstuffs in the domestic market, adding that the project achieves more than one goal at the same time.
He added that the project will achieve a qualitative leap with the completion of its phases, as it will have a very positive impact on the families and the local community, emphasizing that the partnership between Qatar Fund for Development and Qatar Red Crescent always aims to implement humanitarian and development projects ensuring that human beings actually have decent lives.
For his part, the Secretary-General of QRC Ali bin Hassan Al Hammadi, said: “Due to the significant role played by agriculture in Syria and its economic importance in Sahel Al Rouj, which comprises of 50 villages in Idlib Governorate, QFFD has financed the collective irrigation project in this plain, which aims at enabling 5,200 farmers’ families to return to the irrigated farming and to improve the productivity of wheat in the area unit. The project achieves wheat sufficiency for more than 13,000 people a year. It also creates jobs that help farmers stay on their land.
Al Hammadi also pointed out that the QRC supervised the implementation of the project and follows up on all the technical activities needed. In addition, the estimated area of the fields benefiting from this project is about 700 hectares that can meet the needs of 13 ,000 people a year for wheat, and the estimated number of beneficiaries of the project is up to 28 thousand people, 55% of them are children.