The United Nations estimate that over 57 million people across the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region are currently in need of humanitarian aid. This represents a dramatic increase from just under 32 million in 2014.
Little girls in Za'atari camp, Jordan - currently home to almost 80,000 Syrian refugees.
Photo © Ehab Othman for RedR UK
The Syrian conflict, now well into its fifth year, has shattered countless lives - and it shows no signs of abating. As of July 2015, an estimated 7.6 million people - half of them children - were displaced within Syria’s borders, and more than 12 million people were urgently in need of aid.
Over four million people have now fled the fighting. While some have made the perilous journey to Europe, the majority have sought refuge in neighbouring countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. This puts added pressure on host nations, some of which are already struggling to provide for their own citizens’ basic needs. In recent months, the growth of the Islamic State group, particularly in Iraq and Syria, has caused further loss of life and uprooted millions more.
And although they receive less media attention, several other protracted conflicts continue to take a toll on the lives of civilians across the Middle East.
In Yemen, civil war, compounded by a Saudi Arabia-led military intervention, has left 82% of the country’s population - an estimated 21.2 million people - in need of humanitarian assistance.
Libya has been in political deadlock since the ousting of Colonel Kadhafi in 2011. Today, as two rival governments tussle for power, the steadily worsening humanitarian crisis has affected approximately three million people.
And in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, violence continues to flare. Currently, some 2.3 million people are in need of assistance, over half of whom are refugees.
The scale of needs across the region means that aid agencies operating in MENA are facing unprecedented pressure.
Sources: EU ECHO, UNOCHA, Relief Web, Trust.org (Thomson Reuters Foundation)
From our newest office in Amman, Jordan, RedR UK is working to ensure that aid workers across the MENA region have the skills they need to save and improve lives.
"Our aim is to be a useful member of the humanitarian community in Jordan, serving the wider region," says Country Director Martin Fisher. "Although we do run open training sessions, our focus is very firmly on tailor-made training, where we work with agencies to draw up a course that caters to the specific needs of their staff. It’s a much more satisfying way of working for everyone involved. And it’s just a more effective way of building capacity.″
To date, RedR has run training courses in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Tunisia and Turkey, providing essential skills to over 700 aid workers, the majority of whom are from the region. Training is delivered in Arabic and English, and courses cover everything from safety and security to proposal-writing, WASH for urban settings and humanitarian leadership.