CNEWA’s village redevelopment program in Lebanon received a $2.1 million grant from Mercy Corps, Msgr. Robert L. Stern, Secretary General, announced today. Funds will erect sewage treatment plants, develop agricultural feeder roads, build olive oil processing plants, construct greenhouses and develop other agricultural projects in eight villages.
“What CNEWA began as an emergency housing initiative in Beirut 10 years ago,” Msgr. Stern commented, “has developed into a comprehensive village resettlement and redevelopment effort, revitalizing village self-sufficiency and restoring interconfessional bonds.
“This Mercy Corps grant deepens our commitment to this endeavor, which has also been enhanced by several grants from the United States Agency for International Development and Misereor, the aid agency of the German Catholic bishops,” Msgr. Stern continued.
According to Mr. Issam Bishara, CNEWA’s Regional Director for Lebanon, Syria and Egypt, CNEWA’s Beirut staff of engineers, architects and social workers frequently met with village committee leaders, assessing village needs and developing mutually agreeable solutions.
“These projects will increase each village’s income and lessen the need for outside assistance, thus assuring the self-sufficiency of each village.”
A $22 million agency of the Vatican, CNEWA was founded by Pope Pius XI to support the churches and peoples of the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe.