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Increasing the resilience of displaced persons and host communities to climate change-related water challenges

Building climate resilience in host communities in the Arab Region and internationally

Elie Mansour


date June 27, 2022 | 17:00 - 18:30
Multifunction Hall: ONE UN Room
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA)
Polish, Spanish, English, French + CART [English]
Greener Urban Futures
UN 2


This event will be an interactive exploration of the challenge of building urban systems that can respond to the impacts of climate change when combined with a rapid influx of new residents in the case of cities hosting populations displaced by conflict and other crises. It arises from a project being carried out in collaboration between ESCWA, Habitat, UNDP, FAO and UNICEF in the Arab Region; but this topic is particularly relevant to discuss now in Poland, in light of the recent influx of displaced persons from Ukraine.

The event will begin with a presentation of a new project currently in the early implementation phase: “Increasing the resilience of both displaced persons and host communities to climate change-related water challenges in Jordan & Lebanon.” This project aims to respond to climate change impacts and vulnerabilities in the water sector in the context of the Syrian crisis in Jordan and Lebanon by demonstrating concrete adaptation measures that respond to the needs of both Displaced Persons and host communities. The project focuses on developing new municipal plans with gender and climate mainstreaming, implementing unconventional water harvesting and wastewater treatment technologies and improving knowledge, policies and regulations to increase urban resilience in the region.

Following the project presentation, government representatives from Jordan and Lebanon will share their perspectives on water scarcity challenges in DP host communities and experience working on similar initiatives with diverse UN entities. Additionally, a representative from Syria will highlight efforts to implement similar water conservation technologies there.


1) To raise awareness about the challenges cities face with respect to simultaneously managing the impacts of climate change and an influx of displaced communities. While the Arab Region will be the main focus in terms of case studies and examples, we hope to have a diverse audience that can speak to these challenges in their respective regions, increasing understanding of how these issues manifest on the international level.

2) To discuss potential policy solutions (master planning).

3) To discuss potential technology solutions (rainwater harvesting, greywater treatment).  

4) To brainstorm ways to continue to gain and spread knowledge on these topics going forward. We hope the event may serve as a knowledge exchange and networking opportunity for attendees.

5) To explore the challenges of working as One UN across the five UN agencies involved in this project's implementation.

Session speakers

Ms. Sara Hess
Associate Economic Affairs Officer
Ms. Sonia Afesa
Head of the Planning and International Cooperation
Ministry of Local Administration and Environment
Mr. Belal Shaqarin
Director of Climate Change
Ministry of Environment
Mr. Ihab Jomaa
Head of the Department of Irrigation and Agrometeorology
Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute
Ms. Deema Abu Thiab
National Programme Coordinator
Mr. Elie Mansour
Head of Urban Planning and Design Unit