The second goal of the Sustainable Development Goals is the priority of the World Food Program, and this goal seeks to end hunger, provide food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. 

While most individuals around the world struggle daily to secure food for their families, the world still contains 690 million people who suffer from hunger and malnutrition.

Ending hunger has become one of the most important challenges facing the world, and even the most priority, as it affects human health and advances in several other sectors alike. 

To date, the world has made remarkable progress in reducing the proportion of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition, but we still have a long journey ahead of us, and all individuals, associations, organizations and educational institutions must cooperate and work hand in hand to achieve this goal by 2030. 

The Islamic University in Lebanon has always been interested in food security issues and it always strives to improve its contribution to the agricultural sector, thus helping to face the obstacles and challenges and to create sustainable solutions. 

To this end, the Islamic University in Lebanon has an aim is to work together in various fields such as vocational training and scientific research, joint activities for the public interest, and seminars and workshops addressed to students. 


Agriculture has always been the main pillar in fighting hunger and in the rise and evolution of countries over the years. It is not limited to produce various crops but it intersects with important issues of our time such as food security, sustainable development, famine, poverty and the spread of diseases and epidemics.

It is important to mention that agriculture is greatly influenced by climate change. Many third world countries still suffer from famine and hunger which is related to many reasons amongst which are the poor planning, lack of strategy and inability to cope with the climate changes not to mention other reasons which are political as well as corruption related.

Nobody should go hungry in this world. The public sectors in many countries need to better utilize their resources and best allocate it in order to improve efficiently and effectively the agricultural process and its related irrigation systems. In countries such as Sudan, there is an over abundancy of water there as evidenced by the Niles river. But, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese go hungry on a yearly basis which is mostly due to political problems and corruption issues that are have been and still are plaguing this great country which was once nick named the bread basket of the Arab world.

IUL and zero hunger:

The agricultural sector in Lebanon faces many challenges and obstacles due to external and internal governmental policies, pollution, water scarcity, water change and lack of water dams and equitable distribution of water resources. Therefore, it is necessary to spread awareness among the Lebanese citizens-especially farmers and university students- so that they are better equipped to face these challenges and find the necessary solutions. This can be accomplished, on one hand, by holding seminars and workshops at the university which aim is to contribute to collective awareness to maximize the benefits of the farmers and citizens from the agricultural and water wealth.  On the other hand, courses and curricula are adopted in most of the university’s faculties to contribute to spreading awareness among students and have them acquire technical and legal knowledge on this matter. Moreover, the Islamic University of Lebanon (IUL) signed numerous cooperation and exchange agreements with both governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to support Lebanese agriculture.

The Islamic University in Lebanon has always been interested in food security issues and it always strives to improve its contribution to the agricultural sector, thus helping to face the obstacles and challenges and to create sustainable solutions.

To this end, the Islamic University in Lebanon, represented by its President Prof. Dr. Dina Al Maoula signed a memorandum of understanding and joint cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture. The aim is to work together in various fields such as vocational training and scientific research, joint activities for the public interest and seminars and workshops addressed to students.

The university has also been preparing its students to compete at an international level through their participation in the Hult Price: a competition in which students from different parts of the world compete in teams to create innovative social projects and institutions aiming to address a specific social challenge. The Islamic University students have submitted the “Food for Less” project, which seeks to insure food safety for marginalized people and families in poor Lebanese regions by collecting food and restaurants’ leftovers, dividing it into rations and selling it to poor families for one dollar.

Figure 1. Hult Price


Whereas the Lebanese National Committee for UNESCO is interested in inviting universities to establish UNESCO clubs that aim to spread the principles and values ​​of UNESCO, promote education and citizenship, and organize projects and activities that serve the community in line with sustainable development goals and youth priorities; The UNESCO Club was established at the Islamic University of Lebanon in 2019, which included 16 students from the following majors (science, arts, translation, engineering and business administration) to form the core and foundation of this club in addition to 150 volunteers.

The UNESCO Club has undertaken two projects:

  • The first project, “Sawa”, targeted the poor class in the Tire region and its environs, by helping poor families and supplying them with clothes, food and books.

Figure 2. Sawa Project
  • The second project consists of collecting and sorting plastic bottle caps to contribute to providing support for people with special needs from the poorest and “hungry” families.
Figure 3. Sorting plastic bottle caps

Also in the context of supporting food security and working towards achieving it, students from the Faculty of Engineering also submitted projects to the Minister of Agriculture. One of the projects aims at studying the most appropriate geographical area for the cultivation of 16 types of fruit trees in Southern Lebanon; as well as reducing the impact of human error in the use of natural resources from agriculture. Another project is divided into two parts: the first part is related to the use of artificial intelligence and modern technologies to help farmers irrigate and monitor their crops in the best way and with the least amount of water, while the second part covers the monitoring of vegetation and depends on drones and methods of image processing and analysis.

In this sense, food waste on campus is the most important issue that the Islamic University of Lebanon seeks to work on in order to fully implement the second goal of the sustainable development goals. In this context, the university is trying to adopt green policies in the cafeteria to reduce food waste, which reaches 543 thousand kg per academic year (80 kg per person), noting that the total number of employees, professors and students is about 6791. Among these policies is that the cafeteria stops providing a large tray on which the student puts his food, so it obligates him to choose a smaller amount of food that he carries with his hands and eats it whole instead of filling the tray with an amount of food that he cannot eat all of it. The cafeteria also tends to display food and drinks – which were served canned in plastic or tinned in specific quantities that are often in excess – (cheeses, milk and juices) in large containers and glass bottles in a cooled corner of the cafeteria in order to encourage the student to pour the quantity that suffices him and to reduce food waste.

These policies are included in the university’s comprehensive strategy to eradicate hunger within the university (that is, among students and workers) and work to ensure food security.

The university is keen to provide food security for its students inside and outside the campus, so it provides balanced meals for these students during the holy month of Ramadan and on other religious occasions.

Figure 4. Holy month of Ramadan

The Islamic University in Lebanon does not have a Faculty of Agriculture, but most of its faculties offer several courses closely related to agriculture that help the student understand the scientific and ethical principles in agriculture. These courses include the Human Rights course in the Faculty of Law that emphasizes the right to obtain safe food and the right for physical health through international treaties and agreements that Lebanon has signed. It also includes the Environmental Law course that helps understand all laws related to the regulation of water, electricity and agriculture and to preserving the animal and plant wealth. The Faculty of Health offers Community and Public Health, Public Health and Epidemiology and Health Management and Administration courses. They are all concerned with physical health, safety and health management that are closely related to food security; thus providing the students with a wide range of technical and cognitive skills that revolve around supporting physical safety and food development.

The University also seeks to address the problems arising from the water crisis in Lebanon through seminars and conferences which goal is to help farmers, especially small ones, to meet the needs of their agricultural lands in order to support local production and the national economy.

One of the seminars organized by the University in this context was entitled “The Water Crisis in the Beqaa; it was held in cooperation with the Beqaa Water Foundation and the Italian Civil Voluntary Work Association, which is a non-governmental organization. The seminar covered the ways to benefit from water at the national level in order to achieve good water management and its equitable distribution among farmers in various Lebanese regions.

Conclusion and future perspectives:

In the future, the University will seek to establish a Faculty of Agriculture that contributes in training qualified people who will work towards achieving the food security goals.

The University’s role lies in implementing the students’ projects on the ground and linking them to the labor market. It also seeks to develop these projects and tailor them to the Ministry’s needs and its plans by placing its capabilities at the disposal of the Ministry of Agriculture. The University also plans to hold additional workshops in order to maintain the cooperation with other concerned institutions to enhance the role of agriculture in achieving food security and family stability.

Therefore, the university aspires to implement all these ideas and scientific projects and to come up with new ideas for the development of agriculture, water and animal wealth, and to help removing the various obstacles facing the agricultural sector in Lebanon.

In addition to all the above-mentioned efforts, the university seeks to develop strategies that would lead it to national achievements in order to keep up with the development in various fields and work on innovative solutions and advanced projects that answer the needs of the future of agriculture. The university also strives to encourage agricultural scientific research within its premises and to make it a pillar for developing sustainable strategies that support the government’s national and future plans to become the best locally and globally, in terms of combating hunger and poverty.