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A brighter future for Gaza?

Roger Coma Cunill's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français


On May 6th, a father left to get food for his family but never imagined the horror he would face when he returned. Like any other day, and any other house in their neighborhood, his children lit candles to be able to study as there was no electricity from the national grid.  However this time, fire from the candles ripped through the house killing three of his children, all under six, and leaving one critically injured. The tragedy has led to harsh accusation between the rival Palestinian factions governing Gaza and the West Bank over who is responsible for power cuts.

Dialogue boosts competitiveness of Tunisia’s pharmaceutical sector

Rania Ashraf Dourai's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
 vepar5 l Shutterstock.com

“Tunisia was the first country to develop the pharmaceutical industry in Africa,” said Inès Fradi, Director General of Tunisia’s Pharmacy and Medicines Directorate (DPM), recently. “We were among the pioneers in this field, and it is high time to move on to make this industry an engine for growth and development.” This strong message demonstrates the awareness that exists among public and private stakeholders of the need to accelerate the development of Tunisia’s pharmaceutical industry and boost its competitiveness.

What should Jordan’s irrigation agency do to keep supplying water?

Caroline van den Berg's picture
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As an irrigation agency, what do you do when demand for water is growing, food security features high on your government’s agenda, and the irrigation system you’ve been running for the past 40 years is nearing the end of its life? Your budget is also tight and what you charge for the water you’re supplying has not kept up with overall cost levels.
We worked with the Jordan Valley Authority (JVA), which falls under Jordan’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation, to see what options the JVA has to make the most of its situation.

Cultural heritage, identity and economy

Mashary Al Naim's picture
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 Fedor Selivanov l Shutterstock.com

A year ago, we at the National Urban Heritage Center (NUHC) of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), published a study in cooperation with the World Bank to examine investment opportunities in urban heritage available for original owners. The study also explored ways we can support revitalizing old areas, a trend that forms the character of many old cities and gives them their unique flavor.

Against all odds – finding hope among refugees and host communities in Djibouti

Benjamin Burckhart's picture
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Courtesy of Benjamin Burckhart

It was August of last year when our team landed in Djibouti to figure out how the World Bank could help countries in the Horn of Africa cope with the long running challenge of forced displacement.  Following the publication of the report, Forced Displacement and Mixed Migration in the Horn of Africa, everyone had a clear picture of the scale of the problem.  The governments of Djibouti, Ethiopia and Uganda had expressed their commitment to dealing with the protracted displacement situation in their individual countries; it was now time to act and quickly at that!

Over 20 years after the Paris Protocol, is it time for a new deal for Palestine?

Nur Nasser Eddin's picture
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As we do every weekend, my friends and I headed to the city of Ramallah in the West Bank one recent Sunday to have breakfast and enjoy the warm days of the Palestinian Spring at a local café. As we sat there discussing our lives, we couldn’t help but hear a conversation taking place at the table next to us, where five young Palestinians were complaining about the lack of jobs. The group of friends, it seemed, were all fresh university graduates who had been looking for work for months with no luck. What grabbed my attention most was that they were all blaming the Paris Protocol for their situation—saying “it has put the Palestinian economy back years from where it should be!”

Syrian refugees: A mental health crisis

Omer Karasapan's picture
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The Syrian Civil War is entering its sixth year with no resolution in sight: Even February’s truce may be collapsing as the battle for Aleppo intensifies. There will be more refugees and casualties as civilians flee the violence. With its aerial bombings, car bombs, chemical warfare, the unparalleled brutality of Islamic State, and unrelenting trauma of urban warfare, Syria’s war has seen half a million deaths, over 4 million refugees, and some 7 million internally displaced peoples (IDPs). 

Could a livelihood in agriculture be a way for refugees to move from surviving to thriving?

Dorte Verner's picture
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 Dorte Verner

Syrian families have been forcibly displaced and scattered across the Middle East and beyond and many of those who fled the war tell me they have lost friends, family members, and most of their possessions. 

Jasser, a 24-year-old Syrian man, and his family were forced to flee in 2012 because of the bombings. He lost his mother and sister, his house, car, and job. Before leaving Syria he was working in farming, processing and producing fruits and vegetables. Jasser and other displaced people like him are struggling to find jobs (and get visas), generate income, and gain an education. They all say they want to return home in the near future. They all say they want to work and keep their dignity.

More say in public spending would help Yemenis when the war ends

Walid Al-Najar's picture
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Al Hudaydah's main market, Yemen - Claudiovidri l Shutterstock.com

While waiting for peace negotiations in Kuwait to help end the year of conflict in Yemen after claiming thousands of mainly civilian lives, Yemenis are striving for security to be restored to get back to their normal lives. For a whole year of war—until now—and for four years of political unrest prior to it, people have been worn out by deteriorating living standards and the lack of basic services: food, medicine, fuel, and, above all, security.

Middle-class dynamics and the Arab Spring

Elena Ianchovichina's picture
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Cairo's Tahrir Square, Egypt - Hang Dinh|Shutterstock.com

What do middle-class dynamics in the 2000s tell us about the Arab Spring events? In modern economies, the middle class not only bolsters demand for private goods and services, but also insists on good governance and public services, such as education, health, and infrastructure. Investments in these areas improve the capacity of the economy to grow not only more rapidly, but also sustainably and inclusively. Therefore, understanding how the middle class fares in the Arab world is of crucial importance.

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