Syria’s ongoing war, with 7.6 million people internally displaced and 3.88 million people forced to flee as refugees to the surrounding region and beyond, has made the Middle East the world’s largest producer and host of forced displacement, in addition to at least 2.6 million people in Iraq and 309,000 newly displaced in Libya. Entire generations of children are at risk.
The annual HAAA Refugee Fundraiser features dedicated Arab actors working to address the relief, education, medical and other needs of displaced communities in the MENA region and Europe. Each year host 10-12 local actors working transparently to serve refugees in need in the region, and have raised over $20,000 each year. We wish particularly to highlight the efforts of Arab youth whose efforts provide critical, valuable lessons to be learned from, and models that need to be scaled to uplift the wellbeing of this generation of Arab children and youth such that they may have the health and concrete hope to empower them as agents of positive change.
The Refugee Fundraiser, held throughout the conference, will be an open exhibition featuring the positive work of selected non-profit organizations and youth changemakers, many of whom will also be speaker on panels discussin (1) healthcare in conflict; (2) the mental and psychosocial health of refugees and war-affected communities in specific Arab countries; (3) innovations to address refugee crises, and others. Our hope is to educate our audience on the needs of Arab children, families and communities, the context-specific challenges, and recommended actions that Arab youth even in the region and the Diaspora can take to radically improve life and instigate concrete hope for Arab communities around the region.