On November 22nd, 2022, the MENA Housing Forum continued for its second day, starting off with opening words by the Day 2 MC, Marwa Barakat (MENA Housing Forum Assistant Coordinator).
The forum then featured a plenary session that focused on the concept of “housing resilience” within the context of the MENA region. The panel featured a very interesting discussion between speakers whose work aims towards resilient housing but who tackle this objective from very different perspectives.
“We need to see housing as a whole system. The government and private sector need to collaborate to promote adequate housing which can flow in an efficient and fast way in the face of emergencies.” - Luis Triveno, World Bank
Following this session, the forum then moved to the Innovation Awards competition, as each of the nine finalists took the stage – some in-person and others virtually – to pitch their initiatives to the audience as well as to the panel of expert judges. The live pitches were moderated by Deena Khalil (MENA Housing Forum Manager).
After the completion of the nine pitches, the audience and judges were instructed to vote on the winning innovation/initiative from each of the three categories.
Voting was open for one hour, during which a virtual session took place discussing how to reduce the housing sector’s contribution to CO2 emissions and featuring a group of experts on green housing and environmentally-friendly building practices.
The forum then featured a panel on Best Practices in Housing Finance and Microfinance for the Vulnerable during which a large group of housing finance experts took the stage to discuss this very critical issue.
"Housing is not just walls; it is also a sense of privacy, dignity and positivity”, Margerite Saroufim (CEOSS)
Following this important session, the forum moved to a session on supporting displaced populations through housing. The full details of the session can be found here [insert link to session page]. This in-person session took place in parallel with a virtual session on the gender mainstreaming in housing policies and programmes.
“Urban life has many challenges, which for most refugees includes meeting the basic needs of life. Most refugees live in poor neighborhoods and they are struggling even more today with inflation", Nancy Baron (PSTIC)
Finally, the day concluded with the announcement of the three winners of the Innovation Awards competition, which were determined through a weighted voting formula that combined the audience vote with the vote of the judging panel – the latter given a higher weight. The announcement took place as part of an awards ceremony where Habitat for Humanity’s COO, Patrick Canagasingham, presented each winner with a trophy.