In a recent event, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Agriculture and Rural Empowerment (ARE) program, designed to support several industries in Lebanon.
The ARE allocates $57 million to support the development of rural economies in the country by supporting the agri-food industry as well as other sectors to increase local and export sales and provide additional access to financial resources.
It also paves the way for new job opportunities while boosting the income of farmers and workers across Lebanon and increasing the productivity of micro, small, and medium enterprises.
The ARE will eventually involve Partnership Framework Agreements with champion firms that will contribute to developing the agri-food sector in Lebanon.
The virtual event to launch the multi-year program was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea, USAID/Lebanon Mission Director Mary Eileen Devitt, and a number of representatives from Lebanon’s agri-food scene.
Representatives of small- and medium-sized enterprises, universities, and local and international development groups were also present during the launch.
“This new activity is a stellar example of the U.S. government’s continuous support for Lebanon’s highly productive sector, agri-food, by tapping into Lebanon’s key economic growth driver, the private sector,” Ambassador Shea said.
The ARE’s launch comes amid a crippling crisis that Lebanon has been going through over the past year.