NNA - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with Germany through KfW Development Bank, established and inaugurated the new fish market in Al-Qalamoun, North Lebanon, in cooperation with the Fishermen’s Cooperative Association of Al-Qalamoun. The project aims to support fishermen in the North and enhance their living conditions in light of the current economic crisis.
According to the World Bank, total fisheries production in Lebanon was reported at 3728 metric tons in 2020. Currently the revenue in the Fish & Seafood segment amounts to US$377.40m in 2023 with an expected market growth annual rate of 8.51% (CAGR 2023-2027). The Lebanese fish and seafood market is predominantly import dependent (90%). Local production for export is negligible, but there is good potential for boosting production for the local market. The fish industry already supports more than 4,000 families across the Lebanese coast, among which are over 150 families in Al-Qalamoun itself.
Known for its geographic location along the seashore and its small economic activities, Al-Qalamoun is also famous for its production of varieties of home processed food and traditional Mouneh (preserves), as well as the hospitality sector which is significantly based on local seafood. The new fish market will allow fishers to properly and safely display their products and serve more clients, especially in the hospitality sector. The new fish market will support 150 households dependent on the fishery sector by increasing their revenue and income, creating additional jobs, enhancing food security, and eventually improving their overall livelihoods.
The inauguration of the fish market was attended by Mr. Marc Engelhardt, Head of the Middle East Department at KfW in Frankfurt, Ms. Verena Jenth, Country Manager of KfW in Frankfurt,Dr. Solveig Buhl, Director of the KfW Office in Beirut, Ms. Melanie Hauenstein, UNDP Resident Representative, Secretary of North Lebanon Governorate and Acting Head of Al-Qalamoun Municipality Professor Eman Al-Rafei, in the presence of Mr. Amer Bayda, representing Dr. Ahmad Tamer, Director of Tripoli Port and Acting Director General of Land and Maritime Transport at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, in addition to the president and members of the fishermen’s cooperative in Al-Qalamoun and stakeholders in the region.
During the ceremony, Mrs. Al-Rafei welcomed the attendees and praised the town of Al-Qalamoun and the spirit of coexistence among its residents. She added that "the importance of the project lies in the fact that it helps more than 150 fishermen and their families to improve their livelihoods in light of the crisis we are witnessing."
As for Mr. Englehart, he thanked the attendees, especially the members of the Fishermen's Cooperative, and stressed that "this project comes within the framework of the Host Communities Support Programme, noting that it is an example of projects implemented in various sectors that affect the livelihoods of local communities."
In her turn, Mrs. Hauenstein mentioned that " UNDP through its longstanding partnership with Germany through the German Development Bank KfW, was able to meet the pressing needs of host communities not only In Al-Qalamoun but across the country. Lebanon has huge potential for economic recovery, especially at the local level, so it Is crucial that communities such as Al-Qalamoun receive consistent livelihood support."
This project is one out of 140 projects implemented through the partnership between the United Nations Development Program in Lebanon and the German government through KfW Development Bank to support the Lebanese communities most affected by the consequences of the overlapping crises. The partnership focuses on enhancing social stability by supporting the agricultural sector, primary services, solid waste management, renewable energy, in addition to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, and livelihoods. This partnership is fostering structural improvements for the sustainable development of the country.
UNDP is working in Lebanon since 1986 as a development partner supporting economic recovery, including working with municipalities to deliver basic services to host communities, promoting clean energy and solid waste management, strengthening governance and rule of law, providing support to elections, and working on empowering women and youth.