Photo exhibition raises awareness about the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria, showcases EU-UNDP partnership

Nov 25, 2016

Reza, a renowned photojournalist, trained more than 60 children, young Syrian refugees and internally displaced people in the Kawergosk, Arbat and Kabarto camps to be reporters, a unique initiative giving the world a new look into refugee life. Photo: REZA

A photography exhibition which raises awareness about the ongoing humanitarian and development challenges in Iraq and Syria opened today in the European Commission’s Berlaymont Building in Brussels.

In Iraq, which hosts over 200,000 Syrian refugees, Reza Visual Academy, a non-profit organization founded by Reza, a renowned photojournalist, trained more than 60 children, young Syrian refugees and internally displaced people in the Kawergosk, Arbat and Kabarto camps to be reporters, a unique initiative giving the world a new look into refugee life. 

Organized under the patronage of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, and supported by the EU-UNDP Local Area Development Programme in Iraq, the exhibition “Exile Voices: Camp Reporters”, reveals a youthful yet strikingly mature perspective of forced displacement and exile, with childhood reflected through art to share a window on the pains of war and dreams of a better future.

"We are very proud of the EU-UNDP partnership in Iraq where we work together to make a difference in people’s lives. In a country facing so many challenges, we support access to social services, help create jobs and promote people-oriented local governments. This is about achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in a fragile context. These fascinating photos are powerful stories of children about forced displacement and exile but also dreams for a better future. This is what our partnership is striving to achieve in Iraq. We stand ready to continue our work with the EU, including through the Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization, to ensure that all people in Iraq live in peace and dignity”, said Barbara Pesce-Monteiro, Director of UN and UNDP office in Brussels.

Over the last few decades, the people of Iraq have suffered from consequences of economic stagnation and reduced access to essential services due to wars, sanctions and conflicts. The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has resulted in over 3.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) across Iraq and left more than 10 million in need of humanitarian assistance. As the recent fighting continues in Mosul city, Government and humanitarian and development partners are looking for new ways to reach people with assistance.

In Iraq, the EU-UNDP partnership supports 12 governorates to effectively plan and implement local development strategies, advocates for empowerment of women by training over 100 staff from 18 governorates on gender-sensitive budgeting and empowers young people to contribute to the development of their communities through innovative technologies.

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are partnering in 140 countries to deepen democratic governance, prevent or help countries recover from conflict and natural disasters, build resilience, and adapt to climate change.

More about UNDP-EU partnership: www.undp.org/eu

Contact information

Ludmila Tiganu, Communications Specialist, UNDP Brussels, ludmila.tiganu@undp.org, +32 2 503 47 29