Across the Arab States, humanitarians have been making real change in peoples’ lives, whether on the frontlines in conflict-ridden contexts or within their own communities.
Over the years, communicating effectively on issues affecting children and youth in the Middle East has become more challenging, as the public pays less and less attention to civil society and human rights violations.
Rasha Abou Dargham, originally from Lebanon, is serving as a UN Volunteer Social Media Officer with UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office in Amman. As a UN Volunteer, she is learning how to speak on behalf of children in a multicultural and demanding environment.
Iraq has a long way to go towards peace and prosperity. The United Nations is doing its best to support the Iraqi people on this path and make the future bright for families like the one I met in Mosul. Behind this reconstruction, there is a lot of hard work done by UN agencies, local contractors and UN Volunteers. Among them is Gladys Gbegnedji, a civil engineer from Spain, who came to Iraq to help improve construction designs.
The Funding Facility Stabilization of Iraq was established by UNDP in June 2015, to help newly retaken areas from ISIL to return to normal life. The programme is currently implementing more than 1,100 reconstruction and rehabilitation projects in 28 locations in Iraq.
The war against ISIL left Ninawa Governorate, the city of Mosul and many surrounding villages reduced to rubble. Houses were damaged, the supply of water and electricity was cut, schools were destroyed, bridges bombed, and roads were paved with grenade holes.
Mustafa Al Soufi, a 29-year-old from Yemen, has just started serving as an international UN Volunteer in Erbil, Iraq. He arrived in Erbil at the end of June 2018 and joined the Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization (FFIS) at UNDP Iraq.
“As a Yemeni citizen who came from a conflict zone, I think it’s very useful to apply my experience to a country like Iraq, which has many similarities with Yemen in terms of security challenges and culture. Moreover, sharing experiences from different conflict zones can help beneficiaries in their recovery process,” he explains.
From January 2014 to October 2017, over 230,000 Iraqi families have fled combat zones and armed groups, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). These families face unique protection risks due to fractured community structures, separation of families, insecure shelter arrangements, and loss of income.
According to Iran Red Crescent, at least 328 people have been killed and 3,950 injured. In Iraq, the Iraqi Red Crescent report that nine people have been killed and more than 425 injured.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme continues to demonstrate its ability to meet contemporary development and peace challenges. In 2016, UNV’s response to the refugee and migrant influx showcased this flexibility and rapid action capabilities through the deployment of hundreds of UN Volunteers who support humanitarian and development initiatives benefiting Syrian refugees and their host communities.
Responding to the refugee and migrant influx in Europe