UNIFIL-facilitated olive harvesting concludes in Blida

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18 Nov 2021

UNIFIL-facilitated olive harvesting concludes in Blida

A UNIFIL-facilitated olive harvesting in the south-eastern Lebanese village of Blida completed this week, with local farmers reaping the yields from the fields straddling both sides of the Blue Line.

UNIFIL Nepalese peacekeepers, working alongside the mission’s liaison officers and in coordination with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and local officials, ensured security during this year's 5-week-long harvest season, benefiting hundreds of farmers.

Ahead of the harvest that concluded on 15 November, the Nepalese peacekeepers provided the beneficiaries with 500 sacks and 100 baskets to pick and pack their yields. Throughout the season, they also set up medical and water points in the entrance to the olive fields. Hundreds of farmers benefited from this support.

The village of Blida, home to several olive fields with some stretching across both sides of the Blue Line, has been a flashpoint of conflict in the past. On part of UNIFIL Nepalese peacekeepers, ensuring security for the farmers during the harvesting season is of paramount importance.

The facilitation of olive harvesting, which contributes to the local economy, is critical for UNIFIL’s host communities especially during the current economic crisis.

At the Headquarters level, through the engagement of the mission’s head and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col at various levels, UNIFIL peacekeepers also facilitated olive harvesting in the villages of Aytarun and Meiss ej Jebel this year. Maj. Gen. Del Col highlighted this aspect to Lebanon’s Minister of Agriculture Abbas Hajj Hassan during the latter’s visit to UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura on 11 November.

The minister expressed his appreciation to UNIFIL for its assistance to the local communities.

(UN photos / Warrant Officer Ramesh Karki)