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Supporting Displaced Livestock Breeders in Northwest Syria

Published 01/07/2022 by Global Communities

Samira feeds her livestock with fodder provided by the INSPIRE program.

Due to ongoing conflict and drought, the livestock assets of Syrians are eroding, further increasing the risk of food insecurity for people like Samira. The 30-year-old widow was displaced from her home in southern Idlib and currently lives in the Armanaz sub-district with her four children.

While the family was able to bring livestock with them – their only source of income – local economies are in a downturn, causing food prices to skyrocket and the value of Syrian currency to decline. Commercial animal feed is only available in limited quantity, often of uncertain quality and is beyond the purchasing power of most livestock breeders. As a result, Samira has been forced to use more than the usual share of her savings to buy essential fodder for her farm animals. Lack of access to pastures, especially during the winter season, has further exacerbated the challenge.

Without your help, we were planning to sell our livestock for a cheap price as we cannot buy the fodder.

INSPIRE program recipient, Syria

To help meet the emergency food needs of vulnerable families like Samira’s and support household and community food security, Global Communities implemented the Investing in Nutrition in Syria, Promoting Infrastructure and Resources in the Economy (INSPIRE) program.

From June 2019-September 2021, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA), INSPIRE supported a total of 508,021 Syrians by distributing monthly food baskets, ready-to-eat rations, bread and kitchen garden kits. The program also assisted with mill and bakery rehabilitation and provided fodder kits to more than 1,000 rural families, curtailing the need for struggling livestock breeders to sell productive animals in order to buy feed and sustain their remaining flocks.

“Without your help, we were planning to sell our livestock for a cheap price as we cannot buy the fodder,” said one recipient of the INSPIRE program. “You saved the livestock by this assistance.”

Since receiving fodder kits and monthly food baskets through INSPIRE, Samira has been able to better stabilize her family’s situation as well. She has noticed an increase in the milk production of her sheep, which enables her to make homemade dairy products to feed her children, freeing up finances she no longer needs to use to buy milk from the local market. With her savings, she was also able to purchase a sewing machine that she uses to bring in additional income.

“I wish to live a decent life with my children,” said Samira, noting her desire to see them complete their education and receive basic health care in the midst of Syria’s ongoing crisis. One of her daughters currently needs eye surgery.

Learn more about how Global Communities is working to help Syrians who have had to flee their homes cope with the enormous demographic shifts that have taken place, adapt to their new lives and livelihoods and build resilience.