April 15, 2019

“Supporting the future of Syria and the region” conference results


UNIMED supports the results of the 3rd Brussels Conference on Supporting the future of Syria and the region (12-14 March 2019)

Press Release

Rome 15/04/2019

UNIMED strongly supports the results of the third Brussels Conference on Supporting the future of Syria and the region (12-14 March 2019). The conference succeeded in mobilizing aid to Syrians inside the country and in the neighboring countries, an aid also addressed to the hosting communities, through pledges totaling US$ 7 billion (€ 6.2 billion) for 2019, and multi-year pledges of close to US$ 2.4 billion (€ 2.1 billion) for 2020 and beyond.

As underlined in several occasions by UNHCR, the Syrian crisis is not yet over and a large-scale support is needed for vulnerable Syrians, refugees and the communities hosting them. At this very moment 5.689.127 Syrians are registered as “refugees” and scattered around the region. In this sense UNIMED supports the UNHCR request: “It is essential that the international community stays the course in supporting the millions of Syrian refugees who live in neighboring countries and still require protection and assistance”. Local hosting communities cannot be abandoned to their destiny and have already contributed, in an extraordinary and substantial way, in facing this and other crisis.  

UNIMED is highly committed in its activities towards vulnerable communities in the region and sees with favor the allocation of international community multi-year funds allocation that can be used to guarantee educational opportunities for the benefit of both – hosting and refugees’ – communities. Providing a quality education to refugees and local deprived communities is a fundamental tool to empower them and strengthen their inclusion in the society.

This commitment has also been clearly stated during the last UNIMED WEEK held in BRUXELLES  last 19-21 March 2019, when UNIMED members representatives from Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey together with the UNHCR representative – Sophie Magennis –  discussed the changing nature of refugees’ crisis in the region and the positive role that the Higher Education System can play in this regard by avoiding social exclusion and reducing social tensions.

UNIMED’s commitment towards this crisis in the Middle East is constant and continuous, mainly thanks to EU funded projects such as RESCUE, Refugees Education Support in MENA Countries and RAISD, Reshaping Attention and Inclusion Strategies for Distinctively vulnerable people among the forcibly displaced and can be considered a strategic line of action thanks to the commitment of UNIMED recently launched  SubNetwork on Migration.

Regional crisis is constantly changing: sometimes advancing, sometimes regressing. In both cases the challenges we were facing 7, 4 or even 2 years ago are not of the same type we are facing nowadays as Higher Education System practitioners and representatives. Universities, in this sense, can play a crucial role by acting as social, political and institutional actor for the benefit of the whole society.