As part of his participation in the Seventh Annual Conference for Effective Partnerships and Information Sharing for Better Humanitarian Action”, which will be held in Bahrain from 31 Oct- 1 Nov 2016, Dr Hany will give a speech in a panel discussion on ‘Post-WHS, MENA and the Gulf’.
The overall objective of the panel discussion is to have a common understanding of WHS commitments made by humanitarian actors from the Middle East and North Africa and Gulf and brainstorm on appropriate follow-up mechanisms to translate them to concrete action. Specifically,
it will:
1) provide an overview of the commitments made by stakeholder groups from the region;
2) hear proposals for instituting follow-up mechanisms in the region
Dr Hany’s presentation will provide a brief overview of the nature and range of the commitments from the region and focus on how to carry forward the momentum and engagement of the humanitarian actors from the region, especially the CSOs.  He will also look at what innovative approaches can be taken in the region keeping in mind its socio-cultural needs and
the priorities outlined in the Summit.

more information:

The Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (CHS) is honored to host Dr. Hany El-Banna OBE, to share his highly valued insight and experience on humanitarian efforts in the Muslim World.  The Muslim world is currently facing enormous challenges.  Wars, conflict, and disaster relief across the world are at an alarming high, leaving an estimated 65.3 million people forcibly displaced, with over 50 percent of refugees coming from the countries of Somalia, Afghanistan, and Syria. Humanitarian assistance to the broader Middle East must be re-visted from a social and cultural perspective to avoid growing insecurity and disaster in the region.


Moderated by

Dr. Sultan Barakat


Director of Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies


Monday, October 17th


Cultural Foundation Auditorium

Doha Institute for Graduate Studies


‘On the 3rd of October 2016, Dr Hany ElBanna was invited as a keynote speaker, to the latest DEMAC conference ‘A Missing Link? Diaspora’s Place in an Enhanced International Humanitarian System’.

The conference brought together EU and international representatives from civil society, diaspora organisations, humanitarian organisations, and research institutes to explore and discuss opportunities and strengths related to Diaspora Humanitarianism.

Dr Hany’s speech focused on the importance of working with diaspora’s organisations and communities as full partners, not mere contractors. He also highlighted the role of these organisations during humanitarian responses, as well as their unique role in enriching their host communities.

More information about the conference can be found in the link below:

On February 4th 2016, the UK, Norway, Germany, the United Nations and Kuwait co-hosted the 2016 Supporting Syria and the Region conference in London. This was the fourth annual pledging conference and this year it aimed to raise $8.96 billion for UN inter-agency appeals and affected regional governments. Over 70 UN member states were  invited to attend. Disappointingly, very few Syrian organisations were invited to contribute to the much needed discussion on moving forward with humanitarian responses in and around Syria. However, there was much greater Syrian representation at BOND’s civil society conference which took place the day before on 3rd February 2016.

On 2nd February, in preparation for the Supporting Syria and the Region conference, The Humanitarian Forum held a closed meeting of local and national NGOs that work in and around the conflict zone. We discussed key points to highlight at both the pledging conference and the civil society conference. Over 25 organisations were represented.

Many NGOs felt it was imperative to highlight the fact that many areas within Syria are under siege. The legislation facing NGOs that want to deliver aid to these regions is complicated and hinders the life-saving work that needs to be done. Dr Rouba Mhaissen explains this point excellently here:

Over two days on 4-5th December 2015, The Humanitarian Forum facilitated a meeting with our  WHS partners i.e. the organisations who put together national consultations in 35 countries between January 2014 and November 2015. Together we discussed the role of humanitarian NGOs in re-shaping aid.

So far, our national consultations have utilised a workshop-style agenda put forth by The Humanitarian Forum as a basis for understanding the pitfalls and successes of the humanitarian system in four key areas identified by the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS):

  1. Humanitarian Effectiveness
  2. Managing risk and reducing vulnerability
  3. Transformation through innovation
  4. Serving the needs of people in conflict

The Partners Meeting in December was designed to take stock of all the work that took place the previous years and to discuss how to take ideas and recommendations forward in preparation for the WHS in May 2016. The meeting also included the development of a joint action plan for phases following the WHS. Please click here to read the full report.

On 27th-29th December 2015, The Humanitarian forum led a stakeholders meeting and a 2-day workshop on training, capacity building etc with the newly established Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities (RACA). We have been working with RACA since Summer 2015, both in Qatar and in the UK.

RACA are a newly established body which aims to establish themselves as charity regulator in one of the world’s most charitable countries. As more and more charities are established in Qatar in response to growing humanitarian crises overseas and in the MENA region, it is necessary that a reputable organisation set in place solid vetting and training processes.

THF will continue to work with RACA on their strategic plan and provide assistance by acting as a consultant organisation.

Strengthening the role of Syrian civil society is a primary concern for humanitarian organisations working in and around Syria. Over the course of two days on 6th & 7th December 2015, The Humanitarian Forum held a consultative conference with INGOs and NGOs in these regions to discuss education, livelihood and coordination specifically. These elements of humanitarian responses and recovery lead to longer term stability and the development of civil society. This in turn encourages lasting improvements in the lives of Syrian refugees and internally displaced people.

We were able to provide a forum for over 70 organisations to have frank, transparent dialogue and allow the exchange of experiences and coordination of future programs. Key to this were discussions identifying the successes or programmes that have been in place of the last five years.

Recommendations: Activating and engaging civil society organisations

The recommendations proposed by participants reflect an intention to encourage Syrian NGOs to collectively define their complementary roles in order to:

  • Improve skills of NGOS staff and volunteers engaged in the provision of education and livelihood programming.
  •  Explore strategic approaches and synergy between education and livelihood sectors.
  • Support NGOs to provide quality service that preserves the fabric, cultural and heritage identity of Syrian society in the middle of this humanitarian crisis. This will lead to:
    • Increased trust in Syrian NGOs.
    • Enhanced funding opportunities.
    • Increased outreach to communities in need.
    • Improved effectiveness within the most disadvantaged communities.
    • Support of new community leaders

Click here for the ‘Strengthening the Role of Syrian Civil Society in the context of Education and Livelihood Sectors’  report.
[For more background on Syrian civil society in the pre-war years, see Activism in Difficult Times. ]

Following this conference, The Humanitarian Forum organised another meeting of INGOs and NGOs working in and around Syria ahead of the Syria Pledging Conference in February 2016. Our meeting took place on 2nd February 2016, please click here for details.

Our work on the World Humanitarian Summit is part of identifying how our strengths can aid those most vulnerable in this global humanitarian system. Our thanks to Ban Ki-moon for initiating this much needed process.

As the conflict in Yemen rages on, humanitarian needs only multiply. The extract below is part of  longer, more informative statement from Johannes Van Der Klaauw, the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Yemen:

“We welcome any initiatives that seek to reduce the level of violence, notably shelling and coalition airstrikes in populated areas that harm civilians and civilian infrastructure. The country’s airports and seaports constitute a lifeline given that Yemen relies on imports for 90 per cent of its food and most of its fuel. However, these lifelines have been hampered as most of Yemen’s airports are not open to civilian traffic, and transports by sea are subject to the coalition’s inspection regime related to the arms embargo mandated by the UN Security Council.”

For the full statement, please see the PDFs below.

HC Statement on Yemen – Arabic

HC Statement on Yemen – English

For more information on the key humanitarian issues being addressed in Yemen. Please see the 2015 needs overview.

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After months of national consultations, The Humanitarian Forum among other participants, was invited to join the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) Regional Meeting on 3rd and 4th March 2015 to discuss the findings. The regional meeting took place in Amman, Jordan and aimed to present data and ideas about categorising and understanding the humanitarian system as it currently works in the MENA region. To day, The Humanitarian Forum has worked with 13 countries across the MENA region analysing the effectiveness of the humanitarian system. You can view the summary of our consultations on our events page and if you’d like details about a specific country, please get in touch via our contact page.

The MENA Regional Meeting was the penultimate regional preparation for the WHS in 2016. (The final one will be held in South Asia in August 2015.) For documents relating to the MENA region, please see the World Humanitarian Summit website for:

The Preparatory Stakeholder Analysis
The Co-Chair’s Summary
Speech by Baroness Valerie Amos
Speech by Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Chief Secretariat of the World Humanitarian Summit
Discussion in the online consultation

The Humanitarian Forum is now working on consultations in West and South Asia inclusing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. At the time of writing, the online South Asian consultation has not yet launched but keep an eye on this consultation forum for more details.