The sixth annual “Nutrition in Emergencies” 10-day intensive course was launched on May 16, 2016 and was honored by the presence of AUB’s President Fadlo R. Khuri, MD.
This program is part of a global initiative to increase capacity in emergency nutrition in a region that suffered for decades from emergency situations; NIE comes as a response to a societal need of the people of Lebanon and the region. It was developed in response to the Syrian crisis that has caused the displacement of more than 11 million people.
Organized by Dr. Omar Obeid, Professor of Human Nutrition, AUB in collaboration with the Institute of Global Health (part of University College London) has been running an intensive training course in Nutrition in Emergencies (NIE) in Beirut and Bekaa since 2010. This year, the course opened its doors between on the 16th until the 27th of May, 2016.
Dean Nahla Hwalla welcomed the attendees in her opening speech and wished the participants a very fruitful and productive course and then left the floor to Mr. Luciano Calestini, UNICEF Deputy-Representative who commenced the official opening of the course.
The training course has prepared a comprehensive program that offers nutritionists, health professionals, and humanitarian workers a unique opportunity to strengthen organizational capacity to respond effectively in emergencies. Through different types of teaching methods, the course aims to cover issues that are not just relevant to the Middle East region but have global relevance. The course presents participants with a variety of case studies and an emergency simulation exercise where participants are placed in a mock-emergency scenario and have to bring together all the information accumulated in the first eight days to apply it to a real life scenario.
After having accomplished the first 7 days of theoretical learning, all participants moved to the Agricultural Research and Education Center (AREC) where the practical part takes place. A field visit of 4 different ITSs of Syrian refugees in Al Omariye (Zahle, Horsh Al Oumara) was designed for the first day in Bekaa. On the second day, a simulation exercise that mimics a real emergency scenario was prepared. Using all AREC facilities, this exercise allows critical thinking and offers the opportunity to apply all skills learned in the training in very pleasant and welcoming atmosphere.
Every year the course attracts professionals from around the globe. This year participants were from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Turkey. It is delivered by 11 international experts from AUB, University College London (UK), International Medical Corps (USA), World Food Programme (Lebanon), International Orthodox Christian Charities (Lebanon), Help Age (Jordan), Food Fortification Initiative (India), Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (UK), Osman Consulting (UK) as well as other independent international consultants.