Syrian refugees being registered at the Zaatari refugee camp, east of Amman | Credit: Archive/EPA
Syrian refugees being registered at the Zaatari refugee camp, east of Amman | Credit: Archive/EPA

An international conference aimed at creating new opportunities for refugees and young people from the Middle East and North Africa is currently being held in Amman. The event aims to connect young people, activists and diplomats with international tech giants.

Firms including Facebook, Google, and Cisco are represented at the conference in the Jordan capital on February 21 and 22. The goal of the summit, organizers said, is to create new opportunities for refugees and young people from the MENA region. The meeting, called 'No Lost Generation Tech Summit', will be attended by innovators, businessmen and officials from around the globe. The first event of this kind, held in 2017, launched several projects including mobile phone apps to improve spoken and written Arabic, digital curricula and a program that taught 100 Syrian refugee girls in Jordan with computer coding skills, according to a statement by organizers. 


"Seven years into the Syria Crisis, we are faced with a generation of young people forced from their homes who yearn for a better education and a decent job," said Mark Chapple of World Vision, the co-lead of the No Lost Generation (NLG) initiative. "The event is about harnessing the talent of technology companies, securing private investment, and - most crucially - hearing from young people themselves about the challenges they're facing, to bring everyone together in the room to hammer out solutions."

Focus on youths displaced by war

The summit will focus on teens and young people. It will highlight key challenges youths who fled the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, as well as vulnerable young people living in the communities hosting them, face - such as limited access to education and unemployment.  During the two-day summit, participants will have the chance to listen to inspirational speakers, to discuss initiatives launched by displaced young people, and to promote new partnerships and work together to identify technological tools and innovative programs to help young people affected by conflict. The 2018 event is led by a multi-agency committee comprised of World Vision, NetHope, Mercy Corps, NRC and Unicef. 
 

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