Notes from #nowconf, Int

Andreas Babler, mayor of Traiskirchen (site of largest refugee reception centre in Austria), mentions the need to “articulate demands” and create “conditions required in order for a politics of solidarity to exist”. Not sure what this means, there

2 areas in Syria from which largest number of people seeking asylum are coming.

It seems the issues pointed to fall into one or more of three categories:

Efficiency in use of resources (water, energy) | Scalability of public services | Resilience of public infrastractures against agression

A. Provision of basic public services especially drinking water and energy*, against the backdrop of growing demand as well as growing resource scarcity?

  • In a short time the populations of small countries in the region, Lebanon and Jordan, have grown manyfold ( 1.1 Million refugees in Lebanon, 300,000 in Jordan - addition to Palestinian refugees already there). 
  • Accommodations: Real estate owners unwilling to rent to refugees, what alternative/ creative solutions could be found? 
  • Environmental problems: People 
  1. How to provide basic public infrastructures (water, sanitation & waste management, food etc) that live up to minimum requirements when you have very limited resources? Jordan is having to import energy and water.
  2. How do you build resilient infrastructures for  provision  of public services resilient during  sudden growth of population to be  served?
  3. How do you build resilient infrastructures for  provision  of public services resilient to violent attacks? Ali Mattar, Mayor of Sahel El Zahrani, Lebanon: "As soon as we succeeded in building infrastructures for provision of public services, Israel destroyed them"

B. Provision of appropriate accommodation. Amman has 431,000 refugees and no camps or tent camps- the strategy is to integrate not isolate. In Lebanon however, real estate owners do not want to rent home to refugees (not clear why).

Integration takes up to 70 years according to Jordanian


Mohammad Al Kilani, Deputy Secretary General, The Jordan Hashemite

Charity Organization for Relief & Development (JHCO)

Yousef Al-Shawarbeh, Deputy Mayor of Amman, Jordan

Mai Aleid, Syrian activist, asylum seeker in Austria

George Antoun, Mercy Corps, Lebanon

Christian Berger, EEAS - European External Action Service

Marwa Boustani, UN-Habitat, Lebanon

Laurence Hengl, ADA – Austrian Development Agency

Udo Janz, former director of the New York office of the United Nations

High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Margaretha Maleh, Médecins Sans Frontièrs, Austria

Ali Mattar, Mayor of Sahel El Zahrani, Lebanon

Walid Abed Rabboh, The Jordan Response Platform for the Syria Crisis

(JRPSC), Jordan

Hassan Ruhaibeh, Mayor of Um Al Jimal, Jordan

Nazem Saleh, Mayor of Marej, Lebanon