EWB-USA and United Nations Refugee Agency Expand Cooperation Under New Agreement

Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at further boosting cooperation between the two organizations in their efforts to help the millions of people around the world who are forcibly displaced or stateless.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Director-Division of Program Support & Management, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Steven Corliss, and the Executive Director of EWB-USA, Cathy Leslie. It creates an agreement between the two organizations to commit to upholding the rights of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and affected communities by strategically cooperating on the reduction of energy poverty to increase access to clean and sustainable energy and by helping to build the energy local economy of refugee and host communities. As such, the MoU forms the basis for the further strengthening of a strategic and operational cooperation between the two organizations. Engagement on the part of EWB-USA will involve its Engineering Service Corps program, a program that deploys seasoned expert volunteers to requesting agencies in need of specific engineering assistance.

“I am happy and proud to sign this important agreement between UNHCR and EWB-USA. This new agreement sets out an ambitious agenda to deepen the partnership between our organizations in some of the most difficult places in the world, as well as at the level of the global policy research and innovation,” said Ms. Leslie.

“We will begin capitalizing on our new operational partnership in contexts where we still see long-term protracted refugee displacement such as Jordan, Uganda and Ethiopia. We are now facing a terrible crisis in Syria, the largest humanitarian challenge in this generation, which is sending refugees into Jordan and other surrounding countries, as well as the escalating disaster in South Sudan, which is sending refugees into Uganda and Ethiopia. It is very important that humanitarian organizations are able to cooperate effectively in these contexts, and our Engineering Service Corps stands ready,” Leslie added.