Fostering Employment and Entrepreneurship

The first training of the Webinar Series “Jobs, Entrepreneurship and Private Sector Engagement in Host Communities: Adapting to the COVID-19 Crisis” that took place on 27 May 2020 was a great success. This Training Webinar Series was organized by the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) and the World Bank Group in collaboration with the French Development Agency (AFD), Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Corporation for International Cooperation – GIZ), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA), World Academy for Local Government and Democracy (WALD), UN-Habitat, and UNHCR.

This online training series of the Mediterranean Host Municipalities Learning Network (HMLN) focuses on fostering private sector-driven solutions to create jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities for local and forcibly displaced communities. It explores the key role of host local authorities in providing a better local economic environment, including in their efforts to address the Covid-19 crisis and recovery.

The welcome remarks and an introduction of the online training series were delivered by Blanca Moreno-Dodson, Manager at the Centre for Mediterranean Integration(CMI), and Saroj Kumar Jha, Regional Director of the Mashreq Department at the World Bank Group. Ms. Moreno-Dodson stressed the importance of exploiting the labor force of immigrants, taking advantage of their skills, and integrating them into the labor market. Mr. Kumar Jha underlined the need for experience-sharing between local governments to learn from each other.

Giulia Marchesini, Senior Partnership Specialist at CMI, presented the Covid-19 Rapid Needs Assessment conducted by the CMI, which included municipalities from Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, and Turkey. The results of the assessment showed that local governments needed support in the areas of “Guidance on emergency planning”, “Remote budgeting”, “Improvement of digital infrastructure”, and “Digital literacy training for municipal employees.”

The speakers of the first training session were Nadine Burbar, Ramallah Municipality, Palestine; Mohammad Abu Gaoud, Greater Madaba Municipality, Jordan; Mauro Testaverde, World Bank; Meriem Ait Ali Slimane, World Bank; Selen Uçak, Middle East with Building Markets; and Fuat Ozharat, Gaziantep Municipality, Turkey. The speakers presented to the audience the activities undertaken to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and its implications from their own perspectives.

The second training of the Webinar Series entitled “Fostering Employment and Entrepreneurship for Locals and Refugees: New Challenges from COVID-19 Crisis for Host Local Authorities – Part 2” will take place on June 17, 2020, at 13.30 CET.

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