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  • Women in Nepal


    Safe Access to Fuel and Energy: Rapid Assessment Report for Ruzizi DRC

    Women’s Refugee Commission launched Protecting Women and the Environment of the Great Lakes Region of Africa, a three-year project with the aim of documenting needs, challenges, and potential solutions for safe access to cooking fuel and energy resources for displaced communities in the region. The project comes at a critical juncture, as the combination of natural population growth and long-term, large-scale, and frequent displacement put enormous pressure on the previously abundant natural resources. 

    A key component of this project is to conduct assessments to determine current needs and challenges related to cooking fuel, protection risks, and environmental degradation in order to establish a baseline for future programming. It is in this context that WRC undertook a rapid assessment in Ruzizi Plain, South Kivu.

    Key Recommendations

    • Establish a SAFE working group in Uvira. A SAFE working group in Uvira will help to facilitate a more coordinated, predictable, timely, and effective response to the fuel and energy needs of displaced and crisis-affected populations in Ruzizi Plain. It is recommended that that working group be led the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP). 
    • Promote reforestation and the creation of woodlots. In Ruzizi Plain, deforestation is a key concern and a priority of the DRC government. The promotion of woodlots (sustainably managed firewood/timber harvesting areas, typically planted with fast-growing trees) can help to reverse the trend of deforestation, increase the supply of firewood/timber available to displaced and host populations, and reduce tensions between communities. It will also help to support the development of environmental management skills among the population and facilitate employment opportunities.
    • Promote the right of women to own land.  In Ruzizi Plain, women are the principal farmers and firewood collectors, yet they do not have the right to own land. A lack of land ownership puts women at greater risk while collecting firewood and prevents them from being able to reforest land. Moreover, when women have secure rights to land, they are better able to provide for their families.
    • Undertake research on the most appropriate fuel alternatives. Actions have been undertaken to promote fuel-efficient stoves (FES), but there is no clear data on the efficiency and the impact of FES at the household level. There is significant capacity in the region for alternative fuel and energy sources, such as solar, thermal energy, and gas. Research should be undertaken to identify appropriate cooking technologies and safe alternatives to firewood.


    Norwegian Refugee Council Jordan Youth Program Evaluation


    Since 2003, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Education unit has been implementing empowerment programming for crisis-affected youth (aged 15-24) based on a model known as Youth Education Pack (YEP). YEP typically includes technical and vocational education and training (TVET) with life skills and non-formal education. However, in Jordan, the Youth Program operates independently from the NRC Education unit and experiments with a more nimble model that aims to:

    • modify program content continuously according to the evolving context
    • connect youth to higher education
    • partner with distance learning providers to offer online courses
    • create links between young people and their communities
    • serve a wider age group than the typical YEP program



    The program is overwhelmingly perceived as relevant to the needs of Syrian refugee youth, by participants and non-participant camp residents, as well as by NRC's partners. The program has adapted over time to the changing context and needs of the youth it serves, because of a declared commitment to adapt and remain relevant. Responses varied by sex, with young women more likely to point to positive social effects and male youth more often reporting economic empowerment. Youth report that they are engaging in their communities more as a result of the program, which is NRC's overarching goal.


    WRC recommendations for NRC Jordan include:

    • increase focus on the psychosocial effects
    • cede more ownership to Syrian teachers
    • create indicators around social engagement
    • identify the participatory approaches young people want
    • define an approach to prevention and response to gender-based violence
    • develop strategies to improve female youth retention
    • partner with private firms and replicate the Youth Task Force model


     WRC recommendations for NRC Head Office include:

    • building up the youth specialization
    • issuing guidance on contextualizing a youth program
    • prioritizing youth advocacy and coordination in countries
    • empowering staff with youth research
    • studying the impacts of youth programming and youth advocacy work


    "We Believe in Youth" GRYC Final Report



    Seldom consulted, frequently overlooked, and often unable to fully participate in decision making, the talents, energy, and potential of Refugee Youth—young people aged 15-24 years old—remain largely untapped. In more than 50 national and sub-national consultations held in 22 countries, participants across regions emphasized that refugee youth want the same things that young people want everywhere: to be consulted, to be listened to, to contribute, to engage, and to be part of solutions. 

    We Believe in Youth details the most pressing challenges refugee youth face and their recommendations on how best to address these challenges. The report is a road map for action for all those engaged in humanitarian response—States, international organizations, international and national civil society organizations, donors, and youth groups.

    Ten Challenges Identified by GRYC participants

    • Difficulties with legal recognition and obtaining personal documents
    • Difficulty in accessing quality learning, education, and skills-building opportunities
    • Discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and "culture clash"
    • Few youth employment and livelihood opportunities
    • Gender inequality, discrimination, exploitation, and violence, including for LGBTI youth
    • Poor access to youth-sensitive healthcare, including psychosocial support
    • Lack of safety, security, and freedom of movement
    • Challenges for unaccompanied youth
    • Lack of opportunities to participate, be engaged, or access decision makers
    • Lack of information about asylum, refugee rights, and available services


    Seven Core Actions for Refugee Youth

    • Core Action 1: Empower Refugee Youth through meaningful engagement
    • Core Action 2: Recognize, utilise, and develop Refugee Youth capacities and skills
    • Core Action 3: Ensure Refugee Youth-focused protection
    • Core Action 4: Support Refugee Youth physical and emotional wellbeing
    • Core Action 5: Facilitate Refugee Youth networking and information sharing
    • Core Action 6: Reinforce Refugee Youth as connectors and peace builders
    • Core Action 7: Generate data and evidence of Refugee Youth to promote accountability to youth

    For additional background and resources on GRYC, click here

    Syria’s survivors: Are we doing enough for displaced women and children?

    On International Women's Day, the Women's Refugee Commission reviews the humanitarian response and throws light on the harsh realities of refugee life

    As the crisis in Syria rages into its fourth year with no political solution in sight, the human consequences grow ever more serious – with Syrians set to overtake Afghans as the world's largest refugee population.

    International Women's Day (March 8) is a good opportunity to reflect on whether humanitarian organizations helping those fleeing the war-torn country are getting it right for the largest, and most vulnerable, group of refugees – women and children.

    Read the blog on Huffington Post.

    Urban Livelihoods: Leveraging What Works in the Local Community

    Half of the world's 10.5 million refugees now reside in cities. They often have few assets, limited support networks, and are constrained by legal, cultural and linguistic barriers. To date humanitarian efforts have focused primarily on camp-based refugees, leaving the needs of urban refugees poorly understood.

    When the Definition of ‘Life-Threatening’ Injury Undermines War Refugees’ Health Care

    "While Nadine's injuries keep her from being able to leave the house, adequately look after her household, or take on a job, they fall outside the narrow definition of "life-threatening" that donors have adopted." As a result, refugees with disabilities are left more vulnerable than ever. 

    Making Livelihoods Safe for Women in Northern Iraq

    Both Kurdish and Arab women in Iraq prefer – or are pressured by their male family members – to stay close to home, limiting their opportunities to safely generate income, even while the country's conflict has significantly, negatively impacted most of the livelihoods in this region.

    Self-Sufficiency Would Help Syrians Most

    If distance from bombs is all refugees have, they will eventually look for more opportunity, even if it means making a perilous journey. The question should not be which countries can afford to provide these refugees with their basic needs but, rather, how the world can provide opportunity to people forced to flee their homes and lives through no fault of their own.

    Harsh Streets Push Female Refugees Toward E.U.

    "We visit women struggling to find shelter and make a living – two key problems the Women's Refugee Commission cites as driving gender-based violence against urban refugees, especially in countries neighboring Syria."

    WRC Signs Joint Statement on Women and Girls Ahead of UNGA Refugee Summit

    The Women's Refugee Commission is among the 42 grassroots women-led civil society organisations, human rights and humanitarian agencies, that has signed a joint statement which outlines recommendations for commitments by states attending the upcoming Global Refugee and Migrant Summits, to ensure the protection and safety of refugee women and girls.

    Women Need Safe Livelihood Opportunities in the Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

    Recently Hurricane Matthew pummeled Haiti with brutal wind and rain, leaving the country and its people reeling from yet another disaster. Not yet fully recovered from the horrific 2010 earthquake, Haiti now faces difficult years ahead rebuilding infrastructure, homes, and livelihoods.

    Researching livelihoods recovery and support for vulnerable conflict-affected women in Iraq

    Across Iraq, the number of displaced people in June 2016 exceeded 3.3 million – 10 per cent of the population. In the context of the ongoing crisis in the country, women and girls have been particularly affected and their ability to engage in livelihoods activities has been disrupted. Through a series of studies and projects, Oxfam in Iraq is working towards understanding community and conflict dynamics in order to engage conflict-affected women in economic life, in ways which empower them and increase their resilience. A key element of this is influencing local communities – and in turn, other agencies – to advocate for gender-sensitive livelihoods programming in such a fragile context. This article considers some of the lessons so far and reflects critically on our experience.