URDA Annual Conference 2017

The International Refugee Crisis, WHAT NEXT?
Since 2010, a series of international crises led to the world’s largest humanitarian crisis especially in our Arab world, an influx of people fleeing war, persecution and unrelenting poverty generated a worldwide refugee crisis. Lebanon, despite its geographical and demographical diversity, hosted more than two million Syrian refugees in addition to the already established half a million Palestinian refugees. In 2016, hundreds of thousands of men, women, children, elderly and disabled fleeing poverty, persecution and war marched across Europe from one country to the other in the hope of finding better opportunities on safer shores.

What became known as the International Refugee Crisis led to more coordination, collaboration, and connection between the governments, non-governmental organizations and UN agencies. The efforts resulted in aiding millions affected by the crisis; those seeking refuge in nearby countries and those underwent the dangers of the seas across the Middle East and North Africa to Europe. International efforts were also made to ease the impact of refuge on the host countries in the services, economy or demographic levels as is the situation in Lebanon.

Accordingly, the Union of Relief and Development Associations URDA considers the refugee crisis as an international humanitarian issue that needs cooperation and networking at all levels, in addition to the need of conducting specialized studies in different fields and to benefit from previous experiences and experiments to ease the heavy burden inflicted on both refugees and host communities alike. In addition to its work in Lebanon where most of the refugees reside, URDA has expanded its operations to reach those who sought refuge in Europe and beyond primarily to benefit from those talents and aid them with local integration in their new homes away from home.

This year URDA’s conference titled “The International Refugee Crisis: WHAT NEXT?” will be held on Thursday 4 & Friday 5 May 2017, at the Bristol Hotel- Beirut. It will bring together more than 300 diplomats, politicians, decision makers, civil society activists, international non-governmental organizations and academics with subject matter expertise to promote international and cross-cultural network for mutual support, shared learning and cooperation in order to address the protracted crisis and to avoid further complications.

The conference also aims at amplifying refugee voices by giving them the opportunity to address the international community and stakeholders directly both at the conference and during field visits about their plight and suffering. URDA aims at focusing the conversation on the most vulnerable making sure their voices are heard.

Click here to download the General Program of the Conference in PDF form

Conference venue: Le Bristol hotel – Beirut.

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