Balmed has been selected as a associated partner firm in the Africa Asia Pro Bono Program by the international law firm Sidley Austin LLP. The Pro Bono Program aims to provide legal advice to the world´s poorest farmers. The Sidley lawyers so far have adviced Balmed on a loan agreement. For more informations regarding the Pro Bono Program and Balmed´s role please visit the following link.
BALMED PRO BONO
In order to cope with the poor food situation in Sierra Leone, a group of NGO´s, Government institutions and private sector partners, headed by FAO gathers weekly to discuss and implement food security strategies. So far various partners have presented their ideas and solutions in the meeting. Balmed has also presented the Blockfarming concept as well as its mobile cashless payment system to the group as an innovative approach towards food security and traceability in the agriculture sector in Sierra Leone.
The African Agriculture Trade and Investment Fund has sent a consultant to Sierra Leone to assess the impact of Ebola on Balmed´s operations as well as its sourcing ability of produce for the upcoming trading cycle. Balmed has signed a trade finance agreement with AATIF in 2013 which has been put on hold due to Ebola and the State of Emergency in Sierra Leone. Balmed is looking forward to continue the trading activities, once the State of Emergency has been lifted.
The Ebola crisis has had a tremendous impact on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Especially vulnerable groups like widows, elderly and disabled people are the worst affected victims of the crisis. Therefore Balmed started an initiative to support disabled people in its operational areas who have lost relatives due to Ebola. The focus group are widows with children.