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World Bank Helps LebanonLebanon is a country located in the Middle East, facing the Mediterranean Sea and bordering Syria, Jordan and Israel. Lebanon’s biggest obstacle is its proximity to the Syrian Conflict, which has economically hindered Lebanon. According to The World Bank, poverty is predicted to worsen; approximately 200,000 Lebanese were forced into poverty due to the Syrian Crisis. Fortunately, The World Bank is helping Lebanon progress as a sovereign state.

Five Ways the World Bank Helps Lebanon

1. The World Bank financially supports the implementation of the Greater Beirut Water Supply Project.

The World Bank is helping Lebanon by advancing its infrastructure. Due to the high volume of refugees in Beirut, there have been many problems with accessing clean water. Several areas surrounding Beirut do not have safe, drinkable water. This project provides clean water to low-income neighborhoods in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The initiative was approved on June 15, 2018, and the project will end on November 30, 2020.

2. The World Bank is leading a $400 million project to increase employment opportunities.

The World Bank is helping Lebanon with their economy, which came to a standstill after the displacement of Syrian refugees. About 1.1 million Syrian refugees are living in Lebanon currently, which is 25 percent of its population. This project is called “Creating Economic Opportunities in Support of the Lebanon National Jobs Program” and will create 52,000 permanent jobs and 12,000 temporary jobs. This will definitely increase career opportunities throughout the country as well as increase employment so that individuals can improve their livelihoods.

3. The World Bank is one of the main creators of the “Lebanon Youth Advisory Group”.

The World Bank is helping Lebanon by empowering and engaging its youth. The Youth Advisory Group (YAG) acts as a liaison between the younger population of Lebanon and The World Bank. Young adults between the ages of 20-25 join YAG and discuss how The World Bank’s influence affecting the youth. YAG participates in the decision-making process for new initiatives spearheaded by The World Bank, who actively converses with the organization to start new projects. YAG provides students and young adults a voice within the education and political systems.

4. The World Bank funds The Greater Beirut Public Transport Project.

The Greater Beirut Public Transport Project will “improve the speed, quality and accessibility of public transportation for passengers in the Greater Beirut Area”. The World Bank continues to support Lebanon’s infrastructure. Access to the city allows individuals to travel to work. It also permits individuals to move from place to place at an inexpensive cost; this will increase accessibility to the city, which could potentially have economic benefits. Safety is also a priority within this initiative, therefore, it will also fund pedestrian bridges and crossings. Overall, the project will offer a more secure and accessible urban environment for the people of Beirut.

5. The World Bank approved the Land Administration System Modernization Project in Lebanon.

The Land Administration System Modernization Project costs about $43 million and it will make the retrieval of property rights data and land use information much easier to attain. The objective of this project is to facilitate processes related to Property Valuation and State Land Management. Ultimately, this intelligence will provide insight for all “planning and value-adding services in the nation”. This project is a victory for institutional transparency and development.

The World Bank is helping Lebanon improve their infrastructure, employment rates, political systems and beyond. It continues to better Lebanon so that it can thrive economically. Lebanon is currently facing a multitude of issues, yet The World Bank has been an important ally in their struggles. They have been a crucial ally to Lebanon in this time, as the projects above reflect.

– Diana Hallisey
Photo: Flickr

Rozana_RadioPropaganda is one tactic used to strengthen prejudice ideology and deliver false information. This unethical practice is emerging in Syria, where journalists are working at the cost of their lives report neutral and honest news. Giving the public accurate, unbiased, knowledgeable and hopeful information is one step in preparing for a peaceful resolution.

The Assad Regime and its opposition are suppressing freedom and sanctuary. President Bash al-Assad has formed a bias in the media by placing heavy regulations on anything that’s produced. In fact, death is optional for many journalists.

Lina Chawaf left Damascus after having been a journalist in Syria for 20 years. Her projects in those days was affiliated with fragile social problems. Her family moved to Canada, but she set up a radio station in Paris, France, called Rozana Radio. Her goal is to transmit independent, neutral reports and online information to Syria.

Though almost all foreign news channels have been blocked in the country, Rozana Radio uses different transmissions to bypass the interference. Each day she delivers two hours of news, comments and interviews through a satellite connection. It’s funded by French government agencies and nonprofit organizations across Europe.

Rozana’s website has had over 75,000 visitors in 2015. The information gathered for each report is researched and experienced by journalists who are using aliases to protect themselves. Over 70 journalists are working to produce findings to Rozana at the border of Turkey.

The training program for hidden journalists is called Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF). Their goal is to keep track of facts, data and daily struggles in Syria. Rozana’s news coverage is administered by five other Syrian journalists from thirty news networks with information across Syria.

The Syrian crisis includes shortening lifespan and is responsible for a large number of refugees. Journalists for Rozana are reporting why it is that the United Nation depicts Syria’s development as lagging behind. The station gives Syrians advice such as how to cope without electricity. It also works to inform parents how to care for their children without resources to food or warmth.

In an article written by Youssef al-Ahmad on Rozana’s website, the author highlights how emergency responses are being enhanced. Consequences to the opposition against the Assad Regime are hindering civilian livelihood.

Ali Diab invited defense leaders to democratically assign governmental members in a Board of Directors for a Civil Defense of Syria. In 2012, the Free Civil Defense corps began. The Civil Defense is primarily made of volunteers who train in Turkey. They have successfully protected 12,000 Syrians from violent disputes.

One other main topic Youssef al-Almad addresses is the involvement of women in Civil Defense efforts. They work with men as relief operators and increase productivity in rescue attempts. This type of information educates Syria and encourages equality, community activism and a morally neutral reporting tactic.

Though Rozana has been expected to support an “overseas agenda,” Chawaf makes it clear that her station’s mission is to undermine Assad’s grip on the media and deliver fair analysis of internal struggle and success. Since 20 percent of Syrians have internet access, Chawaf has to expose her station to multiple countries so word can reach Syrians quickly.

Many of those who have online access do not have stable power or service. Chawaf hopes to encourage ways to utilize other platforms to penetrate borders. She humbly admits in an article by Amar Toor from The Verge, “It’s not easy to control emotion if you’re seeing your own people getting killed. You have to be neutral, which is how we have trained them in Turkey.”

Katie Groe

Sources: SIDA, ROZANA, Reuters, The Verge
Photo: Rozana.fm

medical_supplies
From the end of December 2013 to the beginning of this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) has sent 125 tons of medical supplies to Aleppo, SyrianArabRepublic. Aleppo is the site of thousands of killings and one battleground for Syria’s civil war.

Delivering such a large supply to this crime-ridden area required three shipments. The first shipment would treat 55,000 patients and second shipment approximately 213,000 people. This month’s delivery of 20 tons of supplies will treat 118,000 patients.

Rural villages have been most affected by the crisis of the SyrianArabRepublic. The lack of health workers, shortages of medical supplies and no access to health care facilities have placed most of the Syrian population at risk of a disease outbreak.

Medical supplies that have been collected include surgical materials, ICU beds, medicine and infant incubators. These supplies have reached several NGOs, the Syrian Red Crescent Society and health authorities to treat thousands of patients who have been affected by government air raids. Doctors have been treating a variety of patients with shrapnel wounds, amputations, brain injuries and deep abdominal damages.

Several pharmaceutical plants that produce medicine locally have been damaged and families that can afford medicine are paying extremely high prices on the black market. These shipments are thus giving hope to several families in rural areas that now have some aid distribution centers nearby. Aleppo is the site of destruction, with ongoing machine guns firing and explosives detonating, but civilians are forced to accept the chaos.

Regardless of the city’s dangers, the WHO continues to provide continual supplies since medicine production in Syria has been reduced by 65 percent to 70 percent. Mobile health clinics and local health workers are focusing on infectious disease and outbreak response, malnutrition, mental health and chemical hazards that continue to burden the Syrian population.

– Maybelline Martez

Sources: World Health Organization, CNN

Syria Refugee Crisis Civil War Al Assad Global Aid
Since the start of the Syrian Civil War in early 2011, over 2 million Syrians have officially registered as refugees. Accounting for those who have not let the UN Refugee Agency know of their whereabouts, experts estimate the actual number of Syrian refugees and displaced people to be even higher.

Neighboring states have been struggling with the burgeoning number of Syrians crossing their borders. Nearly 500,000, 200,000, 530,000, 120,000, and 750,000 Syrian refugees have currently settled in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon—respectively.

The crisis is only mounting as more Syrians—up to 8,000 a day—continue to flee the violence and chaos consuming their homeland. Of these refugees, approximately 75 percent are women and children—the latter of whom are particularly vulnerable to psychological trauma from being thrust into new and unfamiliar settings.

Refugee camps are rarely far from the immediate limits of Syria. In the distance, the occasional round of gun shots serve as elevator music and refugees live in soiled, dilapidated tents. Although the UNHCR has been prioritizing aid to these makeshift settlements, resources and funds are limited with so many mouths to feed.

Fortunately, a plethora of humanitarian organizations have stepped up to the plate in assisting the UNHCR. Doctors Without Borders has been providing both medical care and supplies to numerous civilians injured from episodes of violence and armed conflict between the Syrian government and rebels. CARE workers have been providing needy families with money for food shelter, as well as emergency supplies.

World Vision has been hosting educational classes for refugee children in lieu of regular school sessions and establishing networks for clean water and waste removal in campsites both within and outside Syria. Likewise, Save the Children has assisted children in coping with their dire circumstances through psychotherapy and counselling.

The GlobalGiving Foundation, on the other hand, has directly partnered with the UNHCR to collect donations geared toward providing immediate relief and supplies—in conjunction with long term projects, such as helping refugees permanently resettle in third countries. To date, over $55,000 has been raised for the initiative through crowdsourcing.

A mere $11 contribution can supply 5 blankets for insulation during cold desert nights. A $345 donation can allow 17 families to acquire the kitchen appliances necessary to prepare comforting hot food. With nearly 300 individual donors and counting, the GlobalGiving Foundation’s Syrian aid efforts reinforce the notion that it does not take much to make a sizeable ripple in the pond. Just a few dollars can make the difference and make the Syrian refugees feel a little more at home in their unfamiliar surroundings.

– Melrose Huang

Sources: Migration Policy Centre, UNHCR, CNN, New Yorker, Save the Children, GlobalGiving
Photo: Global Post

Syrian_refugees
Millions have suffered from the brutal two-year conflict in Syria. The foreign aid given to humanitarian organizations as well as refugees is not enough. This is why Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and High Commissioner of Refugees Antonio Guterres are appealing to the UN for an additional $3.1 billion to meet humanitarian needs in Syria and throughout the region. The governments of Lebanon and Jordan are also seeking an additional $830 million to support nearly 500,000 Syrian refugees in each country. This money will help support efforts to provide education and health services to the refugees.

“After more than two years of brutal conflict, almost a third of Syrians need urgent humanitarian help and protection, but the needs are growing more quickly than we can meet them,” said Amos.

The UN estimates that 6.8 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance, 4.25 million are internally displaced from their homes, and at least 1.6 million Syrian refugees are now living in several neighboring countries. In December 2012, $1.5 billion was requested to help 4 million people in Syria as well as 1.1 million refugees. UNHCR now estimates there could be as many as 3.65 million Syrian refugees by the end of 2013.

In the last few months, the UN and other international and local humanitarian organizations in Syria have fed up to 2.4 million per month, vaccinated more than 1 million children against measles and polio, made drinking water safe for over 9 million people and provided for nearly 920,000 people. However, this is not enough and these organizations are aiming to help even more people. With this new aid, they would be able to feed 4 million Syrians, immunize 1.7 million children, provide nearly 7 million people with health care and 10 million with safe drinking water.

“The funds we are appealing for are a matter of survival for suffering Syrians and they are essential for the neighboring countries hosting refugees,” said High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres.

This aid will also help governments in the region who are feeling the strain of the conflict. Housing refugees has come at a high price for the host countries with increasing conflict and rising regional insecurity. Tensions are high in the region and this aid will help to relieve it.

– Catherine Ulrich


Source: UNICEF
Photo: The Real Truth