Young girl on the outskirts of the Za'atari refugee camp, Jordan. Photo © by Niels Henrik Johansen

Companies, researchers and NGOs return from refugee camp delegation

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A group of Danish companies, researchers and NGOs have spent four days in the World’s second largest refugee camp in Jordan to look at challenges that can be solved through partnership innovation.

The delegation consisted of 12 private companies, two universities and representatives from DanChurchAid, Red Cross and Danish Refugee Council that spent time looking into a variety of different challenges in and around the refugee camp. The goal was to identify challenges that could be met by innovative cross-sector partnerships between private companies, researchers and NGOs.

“We see a large market potential and we would definitely be able to contribute to more efficient humanitarian relief work both inside and outside the camps,” says Inge Myrthue from the company Aid2Go

Professor Arne Remmen from Aalborg University is the chairman of the access2innovation association. He sees a definite possibility for the universities to take part in the innovation process alongside NGOs and private companies.

“The universities will have a role to play in assisting the private companies in terms of establishing systemic solutions that will secure a more efficient relief aid both inside the refugee camps and in the surrounding society,” he says.

One of the key findings seems to be the fact that potential partnerships need to think about developing solutions that bridge the refugee camps and the surrounding society – especially since most of the refugees in Jordan live most of their lives outside the actual refugee camps.

The Danish delegation visited the Za’atari refugee camp, met with the Jordanian Minister of Trade, UNHCR, UNICEF, IFC, The World Bank, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as well as number of other important stakeholders, Jordanian companies and other potential partners.

The Danish delegation included representatives from Aalborg University, Aid2go, Baltic Asiatic Holding a/S, BUK-Auto, DanChurchAid, Desmi Pumping Technology, DTU – the Technical University of Denmark, EnviClean, Griffin People, Grundfoss, Radiometer Medical, Real Relief Habitat, Rockwool International, Unumed and Vestas Wind Systems.

The trip was arranged by Confederation of Danish Industry and access2innovation.

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