Our Stories

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Hargeisa shop owner makes a small loan go a long way

Before taking a $300 loan through UNDP’s microfinance initiative, Canab Abdi Daud struggled to make ends meet. Her small Hargeisa shop rarely turned a profit, and as a result, she could often not afford basic essential items for herself and her family, and also at times found herself unable to aff more

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Harvesting wild sage in Medjel Akkar

In one of the highest mountains of Mejdel Akkar in North Lebanon, far away from the noisiness of the hectic city, three women harvest sage from the wild. With other 22 women, these harvesters work in the Mejdel Akkar Cooperation supported by the United Nations Development Programme in Lebanon. “W more

Hassan , a gang member turned tailor

 ‘I was one of the armed militiamen operating in Mogadishu for more than a decade and more. I was one of the fighters engaged in ousting the previous military dictatorial regime in Mogadishu. I was loyal to the USC faction who was supported by the civil society. The whole nation precipitated in more

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Helping young Yemenis fight unemployment

Taiz, Yemen — Twenty-five-year-old Tahani walks along a row of trees that she and her work crew planted earlier in the day. “It is good to have work,” she says. “And planting trees makes me feel good. These will be here for many years to come.” But life hasn’t always been so good for Tahani. He more

Hope for Siciido

 Fighting in May 2009 caused many residents of Mogadishu’s Karan District to flee to Wadajir and Dherkenley Districts. Most became internally displaced persons (IDPs) and were forced to live under deplorable conditions. Siciido Axmed*, 38 years old and a single mother of 4, is an IDP in Dherk more

How goats brought hope to Faud

Faud Ahmed Hassan*, 68, lives in Shaan village, Middle Shabelle region with his physically challenged wife and 13 children.   He is currently a livestock farmer, but for a long time, Faud raised seasonal crops such as maize and beans. He stopped after a prolonged drought hit the region. An add more

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Hygiene kits help improve living conditions for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

UNDP has been distributing simple items which will make the lives easier for thousands of refugees from Syria living in Palestinian gatherings. A Palestinian refugee from Syria and a mother of two children, Rim investigates the contents of a large, blue pail with the UNDP logo on the side. “These si more

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Women farmers promote food security in North Kordofan

In Bara, a locality in North Kordofan that encompasses 90 tiny villages, the greenery can be deceptive. The flat desert sprawls for miles around, dotted with tiny villages where the only colors to be seen are the bright clothes of women coming back from their weekly trip to the central market of Bar more

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In Egypt, small farmers embrace the entrepreneurial spirit

When the Arab Spring blew over Egypt in early 2011, most investors predicted chaos and fled, pushing already massive unemployment even higher and plunging the economy into profound uncertainty. But Mohamed Embarak, a farmer in Upper Egypt, saw only opportunity. With four others, Embarak invested his more

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Income brings hope to Somali families facing famine

With her two children losing weight fast and family income drying up, 26-year-old Haredo Ali, from Somalia’s southern Bakool region, was stuck at the centre of the country’s worst drought in 60 years. Her husband lost his honey-harvesting business when his bees abandoned their hive in search of nect more

Arab Development Challenges Report 2011

This second Development Challenges Report, coming at a time when the region is passing through a critical historical juncture, attempts to go beyond the numbers to uncover processes that have underpinned mutually reinforcing drivers of social, economic and political exclusion.

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