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While around the world, the number of disasters has almost doubled since the 1980s, in MENA, the average number of natural disasters has almost tripled over the same period. Approximately 40 million people have been affected by over 350 natural disasters between 1981 and 2010. Vulnerabilities are on the rise across the region, with risks particularly high in urban areas as a result of rapid urbanization, conflict, massive influx of refugees, population growth, unplanned urban development, scarce water resources and arid climates.
The Women for Resilience Program (W4R) aims at empowering women in tackling urban risk and developing resilience in cities across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Launched by the World Bank in January 2015, with the support of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the Program piloted a startup competition in three cities in MENA: Beirut, Cairo and Djibouti. More than two hundred teams from the three cities, including women and men, presented start-up proposals. After careful due diligence and selection, seven teams qualified for the Grand Finale. The finalists’ proposals tackle resilience challenges across various sectors including energy, waste management, preventive healthcare, transport and informal settlements.
The Grand Finale is the occasion to demonstrate how women entrepreneurship can be a lever to stimulate resilience action for cities. Experts and successful entrepreneurs will demonstrate how resilience can be mainstreamed into business ideas, and provide success stories. This event will also highlight female leaders from the MENA region and showcase how they succeed at doing what they do.
The Grand Finale of the Women Entrepreneurship Resilient Cities Competition will:
Juan Jose Güemes
Juan Jose Güemes