More coordination among actors involved in responding to the refugee crisis in the Middle East is needed, and not only in theory. During our General Assembly we called for a stronger coordination among donors, stakeholders, private sector in order to provide a sustainable a concrete answer to the refugees’ crisis. A few days later we put in practice these purposes in a very concrete way: a meeting was held in Rome, together with DAAD and British Council in order to define a new proposal for the MADAD Fund: HOPES 2.
The HOPES project has already shown to be a success story, thanks to its enormous efforts towards Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq (KRG) and Egypt: scholarships for students, facilitated access to Higher Education Institutions, promotion of the education values among local communities and dealing, on a daily-basis, with the Syrian crisis on the ground in an effective manner.
The first results of HOPES prepared the ground for new actions and also showed the absolute necessity to promote new efforts in the region with respect to this enormous crisis. A crisis that, according to the experts, will last at least for the next 15 years.
In these years ahead of all of us, UNIMED will certainly provide its maximum effort towards this crisis in collaboration with DAAD, British Council, Campus France and NUFFIC. Cooperating on this matter is the only solution for having an impact in the Mediterranean region: there is no need for more fragmented action but instead we are in need of coordinated efforts in order to upgrade and upscale existing initiatives according to our results and findings. The cooperation with DAAD, British Council, Campus France and NUFFIC goes in this direction, and a HOPES 2 proposal will be submitted under the same light. More specifically, UNIMED will contribute in the framework of HOPES 2 by developing sound, solid and durable agreements with local Universities in the MENA region thanks to its wide network (103 members from 23 countries) and historical relationships plus targeting Syrian Academics in the MENA Region in order to reintegrate them in the Academic environment. In our vision these relationships will facilitate the access of Syrian refugees to local Higher Education Systems improving the number of beneficiaries and determining a strong impact on the crisis providing skills for the day after the crisis in Syria.
UNIMED strongly believe in coordination as a fundamental tool in answering the refugee crisis and will work in the forthcoming months in this direction cooperating with these new partners in order to enhance the local impact and sustainability of ongoing and future actions.