Apr 17, 2017
Digital Financial Services: The Next Frontier For Financial Inclusion In The Middle East BY ELISSA MCCARTER-LABORDE This article was originally published on SAIS Perspectives Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, Chief Executive Officer of Vitas Group, is Vice President of Development Finance for Global Communities, where over the last 12 years she has built the technical department that manages Global Communities’ microfinance, SME, and housing finance operations. Ms. LaBorde has 18 years' experience as a microfinance practitioner. Prior to Global Communities, she spent seven years in the field, having started up and managed two microfinance institutions in Armenia and Turkey, and... Read more
Feb 10, 2017
Global Communities in Lebanon: Agriculture - Farming, Aquaculture, and Modern Greenhouses   Clustering for Economic Development and Revitalization of Industry Sectors Through CEDARSplus, which builds on predecessor program CEDARS to expand rural economic opportunities with various entities from the private, government, academic, and non-profit sectors, Global Communities has worked closely with the Moawad Rene Foundation since 1998. Working with marginalized groups such as fishermen, small farmers and rural practitioners, this partnership supports sustainable agriculture by training them with new farming techniques, as well as reducing intermediaries for farmers. These efforts help farmers keep costs down, reduce their... Read more
Feb 09, 2017
Global Communities in Lebanon: Agriculture   Lebanon Apple Production Agriculture is Lebanon’s third most important sector, employing about 15% of the active population. Global Communities has been instrumental in supporting and expanding agricultural businesses in Lebanon by working closely with the USDA-funded Lebanon Apple Production Improvement Program (LAPI), which introduced a mechanism for quality control and food safety for the production of apples in northern Lebanon. Production is vastly improved through best agricultural practices and production techniques throughout all stages of production. Liban Village, a fruit producer founded in 2001 in the north’s mountainous region, has worked with 15 cooperatives, 150 farmers, eight exporters, five distributors and... Read more
Feb 08, 2017
Global Communities in Lebanon: Education and Employment of Women Women living in many parts of the Middle East experience extremely high unemployment rates; some leave the work force to start families and then struggle to re-enter the job market, while some are completely new to paid employment. Instability in the region has prompted even more women to seek employment, since they may be supporting additional relatives or friends. They focus more on the work environment and might not be able to work very late. In addition, men can emigrate more easily, leaving a relatively higher number of women in the pool of the unemployed. Global Communities has partnered on several initiatives to ensure viable employment for women refugees. Even before the current conflict in Syria... Read more
Feb 07, 2017
Global Communities in Lebanon: Education and Employment of Youth MENA YES: Youth Employment and Education in Lebanon The unemployment rate in Lebanon increased from of 11 to 20 percent during the course of 2014, according to the World Bank. The Lebanese Ministry of Labor put this figure at closer to 25 percent, with youth unemployment at about 36 percent. Not surprisingly, unemployment and competition for jobs is among the greatest sources of conflict between Lebanese and Syrian youth. Global Communities implemented the MENA Youth Empowerment Strategy (YES) in Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen. The program, which was funded by the Caterpillar Foundation, addressed youth unemployment among 15- to 29- year olds. Global Communities engaged employers and vocational training... Read more
Feb 06, 2017
Global Communities in Lebanon: Our Work with Refugees Global Communities has worked closely with UNHCR to provide for refugees as well as the communities that host them. The Lebanese public health, education and infrastructure systems continue to struggle in providing services to locals and newcomers alike. Hundreds of thousands of individuals go without health care, children don’t go to school, and communities suffer with crumbling infrastructure. Additionally, refugees are often blamed for flooding the job market, thus bringing down wages and shutting others out of jobs. Funded by UNHCR since 2012, Global Communities is providing Shelter, WASH and community support assistance to Syrian refugee families and host communities in Mount Lebanon. Through this project refugee families are... Read more
Feb 02, 2017
Global Communities: Committed to Assisting Refugees Global Communities’ mission is to create long-lasting, positive and community-led change that improves the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people across the globe. Today, there are few people more vulnerable than the people affected by the Syrian conflict, the displaced within Syria, the refugees across the region and beyond, and the host communities who receive them, whose public services are stretched to breaking point. Nearby, in Yemen, there are many millions also in desperate need of humanitarian assistance as conflict engulfs that country. We are working in partnership with local NGOs and communities to alleviate human suffering across the region. Since 2014, we have been working with local partners to deliver critically-needed... Read more
Feb 01, 2017
Beyond the Basics: Holistic Humanitarian Assistance for Syrians By Margo Berends  |  This article originally appeared in American Diplomacy. The Syrian conflict continues to tear apart communities, families, lives and livelihoods. Millions have been displaced by the violence, either within Syria or across its borders, and the refugee crisis reverberates across the Middle East, Europe and beyond. While there has been much discussion of the refugee crisis, there has been limited coverage in mainstream American media of the needs of refugees and displaced people beyond the basics. The scale of the crisis is staggering. As of December 2016, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees... Read more
Dec 22, 2016
Market Labor and Youth Capacity Assessment in Lebanon Worldwide, young people are three times more likely than their parents to be out of work. There are two related issues: high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of people with critical job skills. Lebanon is experiencing these same issues, in its own particular economic context. Taking into consideration the current state of the national labor market and economy in Lebanon, Global Communities has worked in partnership with InfoPro to determine the gaps in skills and lack of employment opportunities of youth. After mapping the main economic sectors according to a number of criteria, three subsectors were chosen for in-depth... Read more
Sep 30, 2016
Adapting and Sustaining Demand-Driven Training Programs: A Case Study from the Middle East While the unprecedented transitions taking place in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been greatly stimulated by the activism of youth seeking better future for themselves and their societies, the region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world. In 2012, the World Bank estimated an average unemployment rate of 22% for young men and 39% for young women. These numbers are likely to grow over the next decade, given the high number of youth entering the labor market ill-prepared for existing jobs, thus aggravating an already major challenge for local governments and the private sector. In 2013, Global... Read more
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