Access to Essential Services



Near East Foundation uses technical expertise and tested approaches to tackle the challenges of inadequate WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) services to conflict-affected communities. Unsafe and insufficient quantities of water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene combined with unmanaged human excreta and solid waste trigger public health emergencies, notably the potential spread of disease, particularly in crises where areas face a sudden, unexpected massive increase in population over short or sustained periods. NEF works with local authorities to build community-level committees that improve or expand water supply and sanitation infrastructure. 

NEF places an emphasis on WASH inequality and the additional challenges women and girls face, from the burden of fetching water to the risk of gender-based violence and the inability to attend school or practice dignified female menstrual hygiene.  

NEF acknowledges the needed transition from a short-term emergency approach to longer-term sustainable solutions. WASH work has the potential to not only meet basic needs - but it could also boost entrepreneurship (market-based solutions), increase women’s empowerment, and take advantage of natural resources. This added benefit will bring economic opportunities to an area and improve livelihoods. 


Protection, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support 

NEF employs a holistic and integrated approach to programs and is guided by do-no-harm principles for protection, psychosocial and mental health services. This approach aims to mitigate the impact of crises, such as economic shocks, conflict, climate change and natural disasters, on vulnerable groups. The organization collaborates with local and national ministries and stakeholders to identify and assist vulnerable and marginalized populations using various methods, including canvassing, referrals, social media, and partner networks. 

Staff and partners undergo specialized training, including protection and mental health awareness, how to responsibly address protection incidents and make referrals when needed.  Protection efforts have been expanded to include mental health and psychosocial support, prioritizing inclusion to ensure all groups, especially vulnerable beneficiaries, have equal access to project benefits.  

NEF’s approach includes outreach to family members, addressing physical and communication barriers to providing access to services, specialized referrals, focused group and individual activities, and counseling sessions. Strict organizational policies, codes of conduct, safeguarding, data protection, and privacy policies are closely adhered to, and accountability mechanisms for handling complaints and feedback, including those related to sexual exploitation and abuse, have been established. Protection measures are considered an ongoing process; as such, regular partner meetings are held to share trends, improve referrals, identify challenges and enhance strategies 

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