KHF Outreach
Boosting Self-Sufficiency in Northeastern Badia
21st April 2011
 
Her Majesty Queen Noor paid a visit to the Noor Al Hussein Foundation's sustainable development programs in northeastern Badia Wednesday morning, visiting three income generating projects in the village of Sabha and Subhia, in the Mafraq Governorate.
 
Queen Noor's first stop was the East Mafraq Agricultural Cooperative which was established in 1995 by the community and has 45 members. NHF's Qudorat program helped the cooperative launch a fodder production income generating project in 2007, with funding from the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC). A new grant from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECI) will help the cooperative expand its fodder production.
 


Queen Noor examines model of a fodder production unit during visit to East Mafraq Agricultural Cooperative

 
Queen Noor also visited the Green Fields Agricultural Cooperative, which was established in 2009 by the community and has 40 members. The cooperative started a vegetable farm which has helped create job opportunities for women. The grant from AECI will allow NHF to begin to provide the cooperative with agricultural tools and tractors to expand the farm. The tools and tractors can also be rented out to other farmers.
 
Her last stop was the Fertile Crescent Agricultural Cooperative which was established in 2006 by members of the community. It has 45 members and manages a goat fattening project which was initiated by NFH's Qudorat program in 2007 with funding from MOPIC. The cooperative also plans to expand its agricultural activities through the grant from the AECI which will provide its farmers with agricultural tools and tractors.
 

Fertile Crescent Agricultural Cooperative members meet with Queen Noor

While in the field, Queen Noor talked about the importance of working with people who can achieve extraordinary things with a little faith and local investment:
 
"Our strength lies in 30 years of integrating social, economic, and environmental solutions with public, private, and international partners, but most of all, it is listening to what people have to say."
 
After visiting the three income generating projects, the King Hussein Foundation's Information and Research Center (IRC) briefed Queen Noor on the findings of a new socioeconomic study on Dair Al Kahef, Sabha and Subhia.
 
The IRC mapped and assessed the social, economic, and environmental conditions of the target areas.
 
Based on the IRC's findings, NHF plans to expand its sustainable development program in northeastern Badia, with the two-year grant from the AECI. The IRC's socioeconomic study marks the first phase of the two-year project.
 
The second phase of the project, which ends in 2012, involves the funding of small income generating enterprises and creating awareness of environmental issues in cooperation with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
 
On Wednesday NHF announced the 8 selected CBOs that will launch income generating enterprises for their respective communities.
 
"The selection process was a competitive one," remarked Mousa Al Saifi, program manager for NHF's sustainable development programs in northeastern Badia. "After considering all 15 proposals, we selected the 8 projects we believe will respond to the needs of the community and be the most financially viable and sustainable."
 
The projects selected include the previously mentioned plan to provide tractors and agricultural tools to cooperatives which can also be rented out to others, benefitting an estimated 100 farmers, and around 120 goat owners in Sabha and Subhia, and Dair Al Kahef will benefit from two fodder production units which will provide an alternative to natural habitats which have been damaged as a result of overgrazing.
 
A fertilizer treatment project will benefit around 150 farmers, and an estimated 15,000 residents will benefit from a water filtration and bottling project. About 50 children will benefit from a model kindergarten project, while the establishment of the first youth gym in the area, open to males 13-years of age and over, will benefit the community at-large.
 
NHF's field coordinator Hussein Al Zawahi says he's excited about the new youth gym:
"Sports equipment in the gym is an important way for youth to spend leisure time, providing them with healthy bodies and increasing their awareness [of a healthy lifestyle] and most importantly it provides them with a place to meet instead of hanging around [the streets] and for sure it will be a non-smoking area."
 
The IRC's socioeconomic study identified social problems among male youth as smoking and hanging out in the streets.
 
The combined population of Dair Al Kahef, which has been identified as a poverty pocket, and Sabha and Subhia is around 25-thousand according to numbers provided to the IRC by the municipalities.
 
The 8 selected CBOs will begin their projects in May, 2011.
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