UNICEF Inaugurates Al Qaria, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and LOST NGO A Social Enterprise to Support Youth and Women
- Available in:
Beirut, 15 February 2023 – Today, UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and in partnership with Lebanese Organization of Studies and Training (LOST), inaugurated the Dairy Incubator “Al Qaria” in Laa’t, Baalbeck.
UNICEF supported its national partner, LOST, to launch this incubator as a social enterprise that offers training to build the skills of the youth and create employment opportunities. Within the wider framework of this partnership, close to 8,000 young people have been supported through different types of skilling opportunities, ranging from life skills, innovation and competency-based training, and income generating opportunities.
“Our investment in this incubator is an investment in young people’s potential to contribute to the development of their local livelihood and economy”
“Our investment in this incubator is an investment in young people’s potential to contribute to the development of their local livelihood and economy” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “Our latest assessment in 2022 showed that 58 per cent of young people were not optimistic about finding a job and 41 per cent felt their only chance was to seek opportunities abroad. It is our collective responsibility to support youth in Lebanon to find hope and opportunities amid the mounting despair imposed on them in this crisis”.
The launch event was attended by the Minister of Agriculture H.E. Mr. Abbas Al Hajj Hassan, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon Edouard Beigbeder, Governor Bashir Khodr, the founder of LOST Dr. Rami Lakkis, as well as representatives from embassies, media and young people from the region.
In his speech, Minister of Agriculture H.E. Mr. Abbas Al Hajj Hassan said that: ““The Ministry of Agriculture fully supports the efforts of the international organizations to enhance the employability of young people in these times of crisis. We believe in the impact of the effective civil society organizations and in the partnerships with the private sector. Our collaboration with both sectors, the international organizations and the civil society, aims to strengthen the technical capacities of youth, improve their skills in the agriculture and food industries, and to empower them to contribute to their country’s economic prosperity.”
“The project has a solid impact on providing youth and Women with access to new job opportunities in the region”
In his turn, LOST Founder Dr. Rami Lakkis noted that “the project has a solid impact on providing youth and Women with access to new job opportunities in the region, on providing opportunities for the local capitals to invest in the dairies industry in the area to boost its livelihood and improve quality production and strengthen the linkages among the components of its value chain”.
In 2022, through this partnership, 334 youth were provided with a full skill building package and income generating opportunities (in construction, sanitation, dairy production, machine operating and maintenance…), a hundred trained youth will be employed in different type of related occupations, and 200 youth will have access to workplace-based learning opportunities on yearly basis. At least 20% of the trained youth will be supported, coached, and engaged in structured cooperatives in dairy production.
The community, counting around 100,000 families, will have access to dairy products at affordable prices, while 1,000 families will get free dairy products from the incubator corporate social responsibility programme that allocates 5% of its production to vulnerable populations monthly (around 4.5 tons of dairy products).
Through its Youth and Adolescent Development Programme, UNICEF’s core response to the crisis is focused on addressing the increasing vulnerabilities of young people aged 15 – 24 through a holistic and integrated approach that promote learning and skill building, economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, leadership, active citizenship, and protection. In 2022 alone, UNICEF was able to support 43,000 adolescents and youth through its partnerships across the 8 governorates and equip them to become agents of changes to contribute positively and meaningfully to Lebanon social and economic development.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org/lebanon/.
Follow UNICEF Lebanon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.