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Best wishes for 2019!

Hanging on to hope and staying mobilised, despite everything… At the beginning of January the Groupe URD team gathered together, as it does every year, in the hills of the ‘Drôme provençale’, in our ‘eagle’s nest’ in the ‘Baronnies’ region, to review the activities of the past year and prepare the year ahead. Together, we discussed our different research and evaluation projects, analysed the principle changes in the sector, admired the new website and e-learning platform that will soon be made public, took stock of the projects to come and began to work on our strategy for the years ahead.

Together we shared both our concerns and our fears given the political and climatic disorder in the world ; a world where solidarity is becoming an offence, where there are more and more barriers to aid, where more and more people have to be rescued from the sea ; a world that is unable to change its development model despite the fact that the ice caps and the permafrost are melting; a world of unacceptable injustice where the only option for some appears to be to take up arms… a world of constant turmoil.

But, despite everything, it is also a world of daily solidarity and collective action, through which hope stays alive. 2019 is the 60th anniversary of the 4 Geneva Conventions. It is the thirtieth anniversary of the withdrawal of the last Soviet troops from Afghanistan, marking the end of the Cold War, but also of the massacre in Tian’anmen Square. There is no doubt that 2019 will test our resilience. But we will continue to try to help the sector to be more relevant, more agile and closer to those who are suffering. We wish you all a very happy new year!