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Sakina washing pots with water, ash and grass. ‘I’m washing them with water and ash at the moment because we don’t have soap…I’d prefer to use soap…it’s better for cleaning, but when we left our homes we didn’t have time to pack many things, a few pots.The Future of Humanitarian Response

Co-hosted by the Humanitarian Coalition and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and supported by the Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crises and Aid.

The ongoing Syrian conflict and refugee crisis has been called the worst humanitarian crisis in the 21st century. With more than 2 million refugees and millions more displaced, detained, or killed, the conflict has pushed the global humanitarian system to the limits of its capacity. Is this the future of humanitarian response? With greater frequency, humanitarian workers are required to work in situations of complex emergencies, defined by internal conflicts and political instability. The responses often last for months, exhausting resources and blurring the lines between humanitarian and development assistance. In such contexts, humanitarian operations increasingly require innovative programs and technologies to reach more people, in more complex contexts, in the most cost-efficient ways, while remaining accountable and effective in their mandate.

A panel of Canada’s leading experts on humanitarian response will discuss these issues and share their insights about Canada’s contribution to the future of humanitarian response.

When: Wednesday, October 30, 2013, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Where: IDRC, W. David Hopper Room, 150 Kent Street, 8th floor, Ottawa, ON

  • Francois Audet – Director, Observatoire canadien sur les crises et l'aide humanitaires (OCCAH)
  • Stephen Cornish – Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders
  • Denise Byrnes – CEO Oxfam-Québec

The discussion will be moderated by David Common, host of CBC Radio’s World Report and Correspondent with CBC News.

This event is free but seating is limited so please register.

French and English simultaneous interpretation will be available.

Read the speakers' biographies.

Can't be there in person? Join the live webcast at (at 4:00 p.m., Ottawa time). Questions may be submitted during the talk and will be answered as time permits. There is no need to register to join the webcast. This webcast is also available on recent IOS and Android mobile devices (floor version only) and you can ask questions at

To ensure you will not have any problems connecting to the live webcast, we highly recommend that you visit the as soon as possible so that we can address any issues prior to the event.

Information: 613-696-2101

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Lecture Humanitarian Response
Knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve the lives of people in the developing world
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