Renovation of Al Marj Market provides job opportunities for Syrian refugees & Lebanese citizens
“The renovation made by UNDP to this market encouraged people from all over the villages to visit it which increased our income. We are 15 members in this family and we all live out of this business” – Abed al Rehman Alsayed Issa – 26 year- old Syrian living in Lebanon since 2013.
“The changes made by UNDP have proven to be very useful. We used to sit on rocks and walk in mud during winter season but now the road is paved, so the market is accessible and clean and we thank UNDP for their effort” –Amira Bou Zeid, 38 years old, Lebanese.
- UNDP improved the livelihood of both Syrian refugees and Lebanese citizens and increased the economic activity, created new careers, and enhanced the direct connection between the seller and the buyer
- The market includes 1,000 m2 of shops build in order to benefit more than 15 villages.
Al Marj Market located in Bekaa Valley has been there for decades. However, the costumers were suffering from the lack of hygiene because of the mud during rainy season. Also, absence of electricity and tents made the business run very slow. With the UNDP project, things have changed, the floor is now covered with asphalt, there’s always electricity and light and infrastructure was enhanced. All these changes brought a positive impact on the business; the number of customers increased which affected positively the merchant income. Many families depend on the money raised from the sales.
According to the head of Marj municipality, Mr. Nazem Youssef “the souk goes back for decades and the floor was always muddy the sanitary situation was also deplorable but the project implemented by UNDP changed these facts, they worked on improving the infrastructure and sanitation, they paved the road where the market is based and electricity is made available on daily basis.” Mr. Youssef also added that “the municipality’s income improved tremendously as 170 million dollars per year were raised, merchants were interested in the market and other activities were implemented. These improvements enabled us to support the Syrian refugees.”
When asked how the UNDP project helped the Lebanese citizens Mr. Youssef replied: “the fact that the municipality raised this huge amount of money enabled it to help the Lebanese who were coming from all over the villages looking to make ends meet”
A Lebanese farmer, from Jebjenine (west Bekaa), Najah Abou Taha assured that: “before the improvements were made, people couldn’t access the market because of lack of electricity and the rough and muddy road. But today, the market is considered as a traditional market with remarkable positive changes in the business”
UNDP project “Supporting Lebanese Communities Affected by the Syrian Crisis” improved the livelihood of both Syrian refugees and Lebanese citizens and increased the economic activity, created new careers, and enhanced the direct connection between the seller and the buyer. The market includes 1,000 m2 of shops build in order to benefit more than 15 villages.