Of the 17 million people in Syria, it’s estimated that half the population is currently food insecure. Another 4.6 million refugees have fled Syria, flowing through the borders of neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and other nations. Host countries, strained to provide enough food and water to their own citizens before the refugee crisis, are challenged more than ever to keep up with growing demands.On Tuesday, 19 April 2016, the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute (WFI), the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), and the International Arid Lands Consortium hosted a workshop on the intersection between water scarcity, human security and democratization as they relate to the Syrian refugee crisis in the arid lands of the Middle East. The all-day workshop was held at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center and attracted over 90 people from UNL and the broader community.
The workshop was organized with help from a team of interns recruited by WFI in January 2016. The interns, assisted by WFI program associates Paul Noel and Richael Young and Director of Policy Nick Brozovic, undertook background research and managed the workshop logistics and administration. James Garza, Maiya Shahwan and Maddie Thorn, three Global Studies students, worked on promoting the workshop in the UNL community and through social media. They developed a series of infographics that were displayed on social media and at the workshop. Morgan Spiehs, a photojournalism student, worked with James, Maiya and Maddie. She also developed videos to promote the workshop. Rebecca Lang, a graphic design student, designed all the infographics that were developed by the other interns. Other WFI staff and interns helped on the day of the workshop.