Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Urban Resilience Conference

April 2-4, 2019

Beirut, Lebanon


What is urban resilience? Urban resilience is the ability of a city’s community to adapt to a variety of shocks and risks ranging from natural disasters to social, economic, political, and cultural changes. 

  • Each year, natural disasters kill thousands of people and cause billions of dollars in economic losses. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are not immune to these effects. The region is exposed to a growing number of shocks and hazards that affect the stability and growth of its cities. 

    The interplay of climate change, population density, conflict, and water scarcity has intensified the risk of natural disasters such as drought, flooding and earthquakes in the region. Over the last 30 years, these events have affected approximately 40 million people in MENA countries and have cost their economies about US$20 billion. 

    Conflict in the region has inflicted great damage to human lives and physical infrastructure. It is estimated that about half a million people have been killed while fifteen million have had to abandon their homes. Urban areas have been particularly affected by the conflict and cities are facing significant service delivery pressure due to physical damage, as well as the influx of a high number of displaced people. 

    • What are past experiences and initiatives of urban resilience in MENA cities and beyond? 
    • How can MENA cities work together to address their challenges and make their communities more resilient?

    To tackle these questions, the Municipality of Beirut, in collaboration with the World Bank Group, is organizing the MENA Regional Urban Resilience Conference. The event will be held under the Patronage of His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri, President of the Council of Ministers

    The conference will bring together city- and national-level decision makers, including mayors, technical experts and other shareholders from 16 MENA countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen. 

    The Conference will offer its participants the opportunity to exchange views on the challenges facing their cities and identify possible solutions and ways to collaborate in the future. Beyond the MENA region, other cities will be represented, and their experiences showcased during the conference.

    Specifically, the Conference will: 

    • Strengthen the understanding of urban resilience and its implementation in MENA as well as globally;
    • Promote regional cooperation among cities with shared resilience objectives; 
    • Discuss innovative methodologies, techniques and solutions to resilience challenges; and
    • Announce a shared regional urban resilience pledge highlighting the way forward. 
  • Day 1: April 2, 2019

    08:30 - 09:00 

    Conference Registration

    09:00 – 11:00

    Opening Plenary 1. The Importance of Resilience in Urban Growth and Regeneration



    11:00 – 11:10  

    Beirut Resilience Strategy Launch



    11:10 – 11:30Coffee Break
    11:30 – 12:45

    Session 2. Resilience Frameworks for Investment Decisions

    12:45 – 13:30


    13:30 – 15:00   

    Session 3. Collaboration between Local, National, and International Actors

    15:15 – 15:30 

    Coffee Break

    15:15 – 16:30        

    Session 4. The Way Forward


    Day 2: April 3, 2019

    09:00 –10:00 

    Session 5. City Challenges and Risks

    10:00 –11:00

    Session 6. Designing, Prioritizing, and Implementing Your Strategy

    11:00 –11:15

    Coffee Break

    11:15 –12:15

    Session 6 (Continued). Designing, Prioritizing, and Implementing Your Strategy

    12:15 –13:00

    Breakout Session: Shift and Share

    Cities to identify and discuss individual challenges

    13:00 – 13:45 


    13:45 – 15:15 

    Session 7. Financing Urban Resilience

    15:15 – 15:30 

    Coffee Break



    15:30 – 17:00 

    Session 8: Social Resilience and Youth

    Day 3: April 4, 2019




    9:00 –10:00

    Session 9A. Water and Agriculture              Session 9B.  Housing



    10:00 –11:00Session 10A.  Nature-based Solutions        Session 10B.  Competitive Cities for City Resilience  



    11:00 -11:15Coffee Break



    11:15 –12:00

    Breakout Session: Shift and Share

    Cities to identify and discuss resilience solutions



    12:00 – 13:00 

    Reflection Session on Technical Communique

    13:00 – 13:30 

    Presentation of the Technical Communique and Closing of the Conference 


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