Diakonia is working in the Middle East to promote peace and security, to increase respect of human rights and to eradicate multidimensional aspects of poverty.
The conflicts are an obstacle for development
Just as much as the Middle East region is recognisable for its rich culture, a mix of religions and a beautiful landscape, it is regrettably also recognizable for its conflicts: particularly the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the persistent tensions between Arab states and Israel.
These related conflicts represent serious obstacles for development, peace and security, and contribute to many people living in severe poverty.
The complexity of resolving the Middle East stalemate lies in additional factors such as: religion and culture which play a crucial role in every-day life in the region, power struggles over land and natural resources, lack of democracy and authoritarian rule which still exists in many countries.
Countries where Diakonia works
Through our regional programmes we also have partner organizations in Jordan.
Diakonia has phased out its long term work in Iraq (Kurdistan region) in 2012.
Our partner organizations
Diakonia has established partnerships with more than 50 civil society organizations in the region.
Our partners are mostly engaged in working to change structures and attitudes, influence legislations, and promote democracy and increased respect for human rights.
At times, our partners also provide social assistance in places where governments and its agencies are not able to reach out to their citizens.
Rights based approach
Diakonia's partner organizations use a rights based approach to support and empower rights holders, mainly people with disabilities, women, children, youth and refugees.
Our efforts to empower women comprise trainings in gender equality, education about the harms of female genital mutilation, creation of information materials which relate to women’s daily issues, improvement of living conditions for women in prisons, etc.
Our partner organizations also support and empower children and youth at risk through education on different topics such as democracy, human rights, and promotion of religious dialogue and non-violent conflict resolution.
Regional and thematic programmes
Diakonia's regional programmes in the Middle East encourage networking between our partners from different countries.
Diakonia supports partners that aim to increase life quality and improve the overall situation of people with disabilities through a community based rehabilitation programme. Our partners use a rights based approach to support and empower the disabled as to change the structures that will allow their integration into the community.
One of the main priorities set by the Children’s Literature programme (CL) is to enhance children’s imagination, creativity and critical thinking so that they have a chance to become a vital part of society. The programme takes place mainly in the West Bank and the Gaza strip.
"We do not want any gifts or alms, we require only our rights! We want to get our fishing boats at sea again so that we can work and earn our own, "says Nizar Ayyash in Gaza. Gaza's fishermen have, under contract to fish as far as 20 nautical mil from the coast. This area is bounded continuous and fish have been hard to know where they may be. "We can be fired or get boats seized even in waters where they predicted that we may work. Being a fisherman has become a dangerous profession. " Photo: Mohammed Abed
Palestinian girls on their way to school, near Ramallah in the West Bank. Photo: Klas Palm