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.
to download the General Program of the Conference in PDF form
Conference venue: Le Bristol hotel – Beirut.
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