03 June

FAO project in Aleppo is implemented with Russian support

An Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory fully restored by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the financial support of Russia officially started working in Aleppo city. It will benefit more than 20,000 local Syrian herders. It is expected that through the implementation of this and other FAO projects, implemented in Syria with the Russian financial contribution, about 60,000 Syrian households or more than 350,000 individuals can be reached in total.

The Russian Ambassador to Syria H.E. Alexander Efimov addressed the opening ceremony in Aleppo with a speech letter:

Dear Excellencies,

Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform,

Dear Director of Agriculture Directorate of Aleppo,

Dear Representative of FAO in Syria,

Dear friends,

I am glad to congratulate you on the achievement of a new milestone in the implementation of the project “Support to protect agricultural livelihoods and strengthen resilience of conflict affected households in Aleppo Governorate” funded by the Russian Federation in partnership with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Government of Syria.

The restoration of the Animal Health Laboratory in Aleppo city, which is going to reopen today, is an outstanding attainment. In addition to the rehabilitation works on the damaged facility, it has been provided with modern equipment, tools and consumables, and its staff received necessary training to resume veterinary services and scientific research. Moreover, I would like to pay special attention to the fact that these vital tasks have been completed regardless of the harsh conditions of global COVID-19 pandemic.

Russia considers the reopening of Animal Health Laboratory as a major contribution to strengthening Syria’s animal production and disease control/prevention capacity. The rehabilitated facility responds to the need of easing vulnerable farmers’ access to animal diagnostic services and addressing the problem of worsening animal health caused by the lack of affordable veterinary services and targeted treatments in the crisis-stricken Syria. The laboratory is set to enhance livestock productivity in Aleppo Governorate as well as to help to support herders’ livelihoods and secure them with a source of food and income. In total, it will benefit more than 20,000 Syrian herders.

Let me remind, that this particular initiative is only a part of a large-scale project implemented in Aleppo Governorate by FAO with the financial support from Russia worth of 3 million USD. It focuses on the rehabilitation of several elements of local agricultural sector, which suffered greatly during the war. The project aims to improve food security and nutrition for vulnerable households in Aleppo through enhanced crops and food production, improved management of livestock and access to water for irrigation. We are expecting that through its implementation we could reach about 60,000 Syrian households or more than 350,000 individuals in total.

Our contribution reflects Russia’s commitment to assist an effective post-conflict reconstruction of the Syrian Arab Republic in general and to ease hardships of millions of Syrian citizens affected by the crisis. We all know that agriculture was one of the key segments of the Syrian economy before the conflict and now Russia deems it essential to help friendly Syrian people to recover its great potential in this sphere and to reposition itself as a sufficient food producer.

However, we would like to see that our country is not going this way alone, but is joined by other members of international community. Russia has been substantially helping Syria in many ways, both bilaterally and through various UN agencies, including FAO, and we expect that Russian initiatives will serve to inspire other humanitarian actors and doors to follow our suit to assist the Syrian people on its way to long-awaited peace, stability and prosperity.

Needless to say, that it will be extremely difficult to achieve all these noble goals without ending the unilateral coercive measures, that are stifling the Syrian economy and exacerbating the sufferings of its people – especially now, when this war-ridden country, in addition to many other challenges, has to bear the fallout of coronavirus pandemic.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate our deep gratitude to the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, FAO and other humanitarian agencies working under the harshest circumstances to support the Syrian people.

Wishing you every success!

Alexander EFIMOV

Special Envoy of the President of Russia

for Developing Relations with Syria

Russian Ambassador in Syria