USAID BALADI Program Inaugurates a New Table Olive Processing Facility

Beirut November 18, 2016 – The Building Alliance for Local Advancement, Development, and Investment (BALADI) program, is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by the René Moawad Foundation (RMF).  The program celebrated the completion of the first Table Olive Processing Facility in Jezzine District (located in Roum village), funded by USAID in partnership with the Union of Jezzine Municipalities. This assistance will increase fresh olive sales for 270 farmers in 28 villages of the Union and create 10 new jobs.
The ribbon cutting ceremony took place at the new facility premises and was attended by Chargé d’Affaires, Danny Hall; USAID Mission Director Dr. Anne Patterson; the Head of the Union of Jezzine Municipalities, Khalil Harfouhce; Mayor of Roum municipality, Dany Haddad; Members of the Council of the Union of Municipalities of Jezzine; RMF Executive Director, Michel Moawad; representatives of local farmer cooperatives, and other community members.
USAID, through the BALADI project, assisted the Municipality in constructing and equipping the facility in the amount of $250,000, which will store, sort, grade, process, and package table olives. The facility will produce various types of processed table olive products such as pickled green olives and black olives, tapenades, and pickled sliced olives which are in high demand in the local market. The municipal union, including 28 municipalities, contributed around $268,000 worth of land, engineering designs, legal permits, construction services, and electric and water connections. The Union will also oversee the long-term operation and sustainability of the activity in partnership with two local olive producing cooperatives and the private sector. The inauguration of this project coincides with the beginning of the olive harvesting season in Lebanon
The five-year BALADI project supports municipal-led development activities. BALADI is currently assisting 59 activities which engage 157 municipalities for socio-economic development throughout Lebanon. More information about BALADI can be found on

RMF-USA held its Annual Gala Dinner in Washington DC

On Saturday, October 22nd 2016, the Rene Moawad Foundation held its 23rd Annual Benefit Gala, in Washington D.C.

Every year, RMF-USA organizes Gala dinners to support RMF Lebanon in its programmatic activities, and to help strengthen ties between the Lebanese community in the US, and their homeland of Lebanon!

The dinner also seeks to honor and and recognize certain individuals from the Lebanese American community who have greatly contributed to society through their significant achievements in many different areas, including education, health, business, science, and technology.

This year, RMF was proud to honor Dr. Andre Choulika, the Chairman, CEO and Founder of Cellectics- a pharmaceutical company focused on finding immunotherapies to fight cancer.

RMF also honored Mr. Rick C. Shadyac, Jr. the President and CEO of ALSAC- the fundraising and awareness arm of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

RMF hosts the 1st SUDEP-South project training

October 19, 2016 – The Sustainable Urban Demonstration Projects (SUDEP-South project) funded by the European Union and implemented by the GIZ-International Services launched its first training program for  beneficiary municipalities and their local partners on October 19, 2016. Four international experts carried out two separate training activities; one dedicated to procurement, monitoring and evaluation and a second one focused in measurement, verification and energy management systems.

A total of 25 participants from the four beneficiary municipalities involved in the SUDEP South project are being trained during two days at the headquarters of the Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF) in Mejdlaya-Zgharta.  Among the total number of participants there are representatives from the University of Balamand in Koura, Business Incubation Association in Tripoli (BIAT) in Halba, the Rene Moawad Foundation (RMF) and national institutions as Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), and the Industrial Research Institutes (IRI).

This two-day training will be concluded on October 21 with the inauguration of 5 activities in the municipality of Ardeh. National, local officials and European Union representatives, will be present to commemorate the launch of the implementation of the Ardeh project, in the framework of the SUDEP South.

SUDEP-South project started its activities in early 2015 over 12 cities in 6 countries of the southern Mediterranean. Lebanon counts with more than 30% of the 12 projects in the region, distributed in the four municipalities: Ardeh, Baakline, Koura and Halba.

The overall objective of the SUDEP Programme is to assist local authorities on responding to sustainable energy challenges.

The specific objective is to enable local authorities to implement sustainable energy actions leading to energy savings, energy efficiency and more use of renewable energy sources as solar energy.

A Support Mechanism (SUDEP-South SM) has been established and operated to:

  1. Assist local authorities and reinforce their capacities  and their partners in the implementation of their demonstration projects.
  2. Promote the replication of innovative actions and the visibility of the programme’s results.
  3. Create the enabling environment for the exchange of good practices between projects beneficiaries
  4. Develop their own local strategies to ensure widespread dissemination and sustainability of their projects.

RMF participates in the 6th Annual CSR Lebanon Forum

Supporting Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to encourage local development is a goal that RMF strongly supports, because we believe in the importance of teaching communities how to help themselves.

This year, RMF began implementing a project titled “Enhancing CSOs in the North and Akkar for Sustainable Development” in partnership with the Ecole Libanaise de Formation Sociale, and funded by the EU. As part of this project, RMF has collaborated with CSR Lebanon, to support and participate in their 6th Annual CSR Lebanon Forum, to highlight the importance of partnering the private sector with national CSOs through Corporate Social Responsibility. As a result, 20 CSOs from the North and Akkar are being given a platform at the Forum to present their initiatives, build networks and establish partnerships to further the work they do to benefit communities.

The Forum is being held on October 27th at the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut

PDF – Description from the CSR Lebanon Agenda about the CSOs