Who We Are
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has seen a dramatic increase in displacement, coupled with changes in social, economic, security and political dynamics. The region is home to 5% of the total world population and hosts around 40% of the global displacement figure of 65 million refugees and IDPs.
The role of civil society in responding to the region’s biggest refugee and displacement crisis since World War II has been flagged by world leaders as an area of particular importance. Addressing the current challenges and planning for future post-conflict and reconstruction require enhanced cooperation of all civil society actors. In the region, civil society has stepped in to playing a leading role to advocate for, or provide essential services to, persons of concern. However, the engagement of civil society actors can be broadened and strengthened with a view to ensure the sustainability of humanitarian interventions.
Embracing the “whole of society” approach championed by the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (19 September 2016), consultations took place with more than 150 representatives from civil society across the region with a view to establishing a network of civil society actors, the first of its kind in the region. It provides a platform for regional dialogue and is unique both in its geographical scope and diversity of its members. The MENA Civil Society Network for Displacement members include representatives from national NGOs, foundations, charities, faith-based organizations, media, academia and private sector.
Catalyzed and convened by UNHCR’s MENA policy unit, the MENA Civil Society Network for Displacement (MENA CSND) aims to strengthen the role of civil society in responding to the crisis by providing a platform for stakeholders in MENA to strengthen and amplify their voices and actions in favour of the protection and assistance of displaced persons, and in support of host communities bearing the brunt of the responsibility.