November 21, 2018. Today in Amman (Jordan), Bioforce and its partners, Action contre la Faim and the German-Jordanian University , are meeting to lay the foundation stone for the creation of a Master's degree in water, hygiene and sanitation in the Middle East. Bringing training closer to crisis areas to create a pool of qualified regional aid workers in this field is a sustainable response to the challenges of this region.
The Middle East has enormous humanitarian needs as a result of ongoing conflicts,chronic water scarcity, the impact of climate change, etc., particularly in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene. These needs are one of the main priorities of most countries in the region. This year, in Syria and Yemen, more than 30 million people have been affected, as much of the infrastructure has been damaged. In Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, which host more than 6 million refugees, but also in Iraq, where nearly 3 million people are internally displaced, basic services (access to water and sanitation, solid waste management, etc.) are under enormous pressure as the population increases and the authorities are unable to provide them with minimum services.
Creating a local pool of qualified professionals, future project managers in water, sanitation and hygiene, is a sustainable response to these major challenges. This is what motivated Action contre la Faim, a leading NGO in this area, and the German Jordanian University to call on Bioforce to lead the entire preparatory phase and implementation of a specialised Master's degree, with support from OFDA (Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, USA): :
« first of all because Bioforce is recognised for its excellence in training design, and second because ACF and Bioforce have been partners for 20 years; we therefore trust them and know we can build something together. It is an innovative project, there are few humanitarian Master’s degrees outside the Western countries and the project is sorely needed. There is a huge demand for human resources in these areas »,
Today's Steering Committee meeting marks, for Bioforce, the beginning of an extensive regional consultation process in the Middle East with international NGOs, United Nations agencies, universities and local NGOs. This one-year preparatory phase will make it possible to define the skills expected of these future humanitarian
project managers in water, sanitation and hygiene and to design the future training programme before the first session scheduled to start in Amman in 2020.