Middle East: RedR's vision for 2017 - 2018

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March 15th marked the sixth anniversary of the conflict in Syria. Sabrina M. Segal, RedR’s Country Director in Jordan, explains how the humanitarian context, and RedR's response, have evolved.

The MENA region has been facing serious humanitarian challenges since 2012. Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen have been the focus of international action and response. Gaza, Libya, and Egypt have also been impacted, albeit to a lesser extent.

The international community has now been present in some of these countries for more than five years. Across the region, the focus of the response has shifted to medium- and longer-term recovery and stabilisation - though of course, emergency intervention remains necessary in areas where fighting is ongoing. On top of this, donor fatigue (as well as host country / community fatigue) has set in, and funding for humanitarian programming is likely to shrink in the coming months and years.

Looking to the longer term

For both these reasons, international humanitarian actors are increasingly looking to local partners - both NGOs and community-based organisations (CBOs) - to ensure the continued provision of vital assistance to the most vulnerable communities once the international presence recedes. The identification and development of resilient, sustainable, and responsible local partners is therefore of vital importance - and international organisations are now looking for robust and comprehensive capacity-building programmes for their staff and local partners. 

RedR's operations in the Middle East over the coming months will reflect and directly address these changing dynamics. In 2017 - 2018, we will continue to focus on providing relevant and needs-based programming, building the capacity of organisations as well as individuals, and expanding access to our services. We will offer medium- and long-term capacity-building programmes incorporating blended learning styles, which have proven to have a lasting impact.

Expanding RedR's reach

We'll also be expanding into northern Iraq, where few other capacity-building organisations are present. Finally, we're developing new offerings that will reach relevant audiences through non-traditional means: we are exploring partnerships with the private sector; and designing alternative forms of online collaboration and learning that can provide a virtual bridge to resources and experts for those who cannot leave their physical locations.

Right: Sabrina M. Segal, RedR UK's Country Director in Jordan. 

A version of this article appeared in the Spring / Summer 2017 edition of our supporter magazine, Red Alert. Read it here.

Expanding RedR's reach