OTTAWA, Oct. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - From Syria to Sudan's refugee camps, natural disasters in Haiti and Pakistan, and famines from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, conflicts and natural disasters of the last several decades have pushed the global humanitarian system to the limits of its capacity. To meet these challenges, Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Humanitarian Coalition have joined forces to host the first Canadian Humanitarian Conference in Ottawa, on October 30th, 2013. The conference will showcase innovative research and draw on the latest thinking from experts in the field, and will provide a venue for debate on Canadian humanitarian responses.
The conference will focus on the following:
- taking good Canadian humanitarian partnerships to the next level;
- the professionalization of humanitarian work;
- the use of new technologies to facilitate humanitarian action in the field;
- violence, vulnerability, and the protection of civilians in humanitarian crises;
- the sustainability and accountability of humanitarian action.
"Our Government is working to strengthen our collaboration with partners and improve our response mechanisms to better provide humanitarian assistance to people in need," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. "Humanitarian workers from Canada and around the world put their lives on the line to help those in need, and we will continue to be a strong voice calling for full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian organizations."
"We must understand what policies and practices build resilience to both manmade and natural disasters, particularly in contexts of extreme vulnerability," said IDRC President Jean Lebel. "By gathering Canadian humanitarian experts who know the issues and have faced these questions first-hand, we aim to identify what works best."
"This conference will address issues that all humanitarians face, and give them an opportunity to share lessons learned, compare expertise, and hopefully foster greater collaboration going forward," said Humanitarian Coalition Executive Director Nicolas Moyer. "It is only by coming together that we can leverage the diversity and strengths of Canada's humanitarian actors to help more vulnerable communities and save more lives."
More than 100 researchers, practitioners, and policymakers will gather at Canada's IDRC to share knowledge and experiences on the most pressing challenges and promising opportunities facing the humanitarian community today.
The conference is closed, but the media and the public are invited to attend The Future of Humanitarian Response, a public event from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at which three of Canada's leading experts from Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam-Québec, and the Canadian Research Institute on Crisis and Aid will discuss the future of humanitarian response. The discussion will be moderated by David Common, host of CBC Radio's World Report and Correspondent with CBC News.
Journalists and the public can join the conversation through Twitter (#HumConf2013).
Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) funds practical research in developing countries to increase prosperity and security, and to foster democracy and the rule of law, in support of Canada's international development efforts. We promote growth and development and encourage sharing knowledge with policymakers, other researchers, and communities around the world. The result is innovative, lasting solutions that aim to bring change to those who need it most. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About the Humanitarian Coalition
The Humanitarian Coalition is a joint appeal mechanism. It is comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada, and Save the Children. With a combined presence in more than 120 countries, we bring together Canada's leading aid agencies to finance relief efforts in times of international humanitarian crises. We work together to eliminate unnecessary competition, reduce the duplication of fundraising costs, and inform the public on humanitarian needs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
SOURCE: International Development Research Centre
For further information: