The 13th Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) ended today with keynote speakers drawn from International organizations, technical experts, diplomats and the private sector calling for building a better future and more development for those who are suffering from crisis, wars and catastrophes.
Imagine a river bursting its banks and flooding entire cities and towns. But when the river is made of malodorous garbage and is in Beirut, this is a stark and dramatic situation affecting the city’s 2.226 million people.
It all started in July 2015, when the Lebanese administration closed the major landfill of the city. Since then, trash is being piled all over the streets of Jdeideh in Beirut’s northern suburbs. This river of garbage grew steadily, as reported in recent days by a wide section of news media, including Al Jazeera
. Thousands of kilometers away in Pakistan, a very similar situation is reported by Dawn.
“In 2005 I left my home town in Eastern Nigeria by boat, landing in Athens, Greece along with my fellow companions - members of a football team. I decided to push my luck and moved to Italy in search of what I believed to be better opportunities to start a new life and get a decent job. Unfortunately, this may have just been an illusion.”
“During the first months in Italy, I always prayed for rain. I spent hours checking the weather forecast” said Roni, a 26 year old graduate from a middle-income family in Bangladesh. His father, a public servant and his mother a home maker, Roni had to sell umbrellas on the streets of Rome for more than a year before finding a summer job by the sea at a coffee shop, popularly known as a ‘bar’ in Italy.
“Water is at the core of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), but it is true that for a long time water and oceans issues have been marginalized in climate conferences, considering that 90 per cent of natural catastrophes are linked to water and 40 per cent of global population will face water scarcity from now to 2050,” stated Marie-Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, during the press conference at the launch of the #ClimateIsWater initiative at COP21. “It is through water that it is possible to measure climate change impacts,” she said.
“In Beirut I was like a bird in a cage, I felt like a prisoner. Today, I have the chance to let my dreams come true, make a living with my music, realizing my dad’s project: open a new Alpha
– my family’s cultural center, destroyed during the war- to share Syrian culture and help my people in Europe,” Alaa Arsheed, a Syrian refugee, told IPS.