AUSTRALIA FUNDS NEW EQUIPMENT AT THE SAFADI FOUNDATION’S POMEGRANATE PROCESSING CENTRE IN AKKAR
On 20 September, Australia’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Lex Bartlem, visited the Safadi Foundation’s Pomegranate Processing Centre in Deir Dalloum, Akkar.
In a speech delivered to staff and local media, Ambassador Bartlem described how the Australian Embassy, through its Direct Aid Program, had recently funded pomegranate processing equipment for the Centre. The new equipment will increase production, improve product quality, and reduce production time and cost.
“Many will benefit”, Ambassador Bartlem said, “including you, the staff who work in the centre, as well as the farmers who grow pomegranates in Akkar’s green hills and valleys … This is a difficult time for northern Lebanon and Syria, and I am pleased that Australia is able to help in some way to create jobs and improve economic opportunities for the people of this region.”
Ambassador Bartlem pointed to Australia’s extensive links with Akkar, noting that many of the 300,000 Australians of Lebanese descent have family origins in northern Lebanon.
He also commended the Safadi Foundation’s support for Lebanon’s agricultural sector, including through the provision of training and services to farmers and others engaged in primary industry.
This year, the Australian Embassy, through its Direct Aid Program, allocated US$110,000 to nine projects in the fields of health, education and agriculture. The program intends to support small-scale humanitarian projects that have a significant and direct impact on the lives of marginalised people. Since 2004, more than 70 projects in Lebanon have benefited from the program.