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Forced displacement is among the most pressing challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean region. In the Middle East and Turkey, the Syrian refugee crisis involves humanitarian challenges coupled with significant spillover effects in neighboring regions. After six years of Syrian conflict and displacement, Syrian refugees are seen as medium-term stayers and urban communities are especially affected by their presence, as refugees mostly reside in towns and cities.

A high-level delegation of officials from Afghanistan, comprising key members of the Private Sector Development Secretariat (PRISEC), visited Morocco on April 7-11, 2019. The knowledge exchange was intended to complement a World Bank Group advisory services project, the Afghanistan Business Enabling Environment, which supports the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GoIRA) in improving Afghanistan’s business and investment climate to promote private sector development and economic growth.

The Internet has become an integral part of the delivery of quality education nearly worldwide, except in countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal that lack easy, cost-effective Internet access. Wanting to address this academic isolation and improve higher education, these four countries approached the World Bank for help. In response, the World Bank organized a South-South Knowledge Exchange with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam to share information on how to establish and manage National Research and Education Networks (NRENs).

Afghanistan’s Female Youth Employment Initiative to transition girls from schooling to wage employment was piloted as one of five Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) projects in low-income, conflict-affected countries with input from the Nepali experience. The community-centric project design focused on trauma resolution and life-skills training and on communal safe spaces in the Balkh province for participants to develop marketable skills and connect with employers.