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Global humanitarian outlook: fireside chat at the Tradeshift Sanctuary, Davos

Time (GMT +00) 21:00 23:00
Hero image description: Rohingya refugees from Myanmar arrive in Bangladesh Image credit:Verena Hölzl/IRIN Image license:Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)


Heba Aly @HebaJournalist - Director, IRIN News


Mark Lowcock @UNReliefChief - Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, UN

Ken Roth @KenRoth - Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

Professor Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou - The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

Sara Pantuliano @SaraPantuliano - Managing Director, Overseas Development Institute 


At a time of unprecedented humanitarian need, from the Rohingya to Syria, from climate change to migration, hear the expert view on this year’s global humanitarian challenges at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting.

Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ken Roth, Human Rights Watch Executive Director, Prof. Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, and Sara Pantuliano, Managing Director at the Overseas Development Institute, join Heba Aly, Director of IRIN News in conversation.

This event is co-hosted by ODI and IRIN News, one of the world’s top sources of in-depth field journalism about humanitarian crises.

Read an IRIN News write-up of the event.


Heba Aly is the Director of IRIN, one of the world's leading sources of original, field-based journalism about humanitarian crises. A Canadian-Egyptian multimedia journalist, Heba spent one decade reporting from conflict zones in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia before becoming part of the team that successfully led IRIN's transition from the United Nations to a non-profit media organization. Her work for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Christian Science Monitor, Bloomberg News and IRIN, among others, took her to places like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chad and Libya; and she received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for her work in northern Sudan.

Mark Lowcock is the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator, and former Permanent Secretary to the UK Department for International Development. Mr Lowcock began his career at DFID (formerly the Overseas Development Administration) in 1985, and he served in a diverse range of roles - including overseas postings in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Kenya - in addition to holding leadership positions at headquarters. Mr Lowcock was appointed Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Emergency Relief Coordinator, in 2017.

Ken Roth is the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, one of the world's leading international human rights organisations, which operates in more than 90 countries. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch in 1987, Roth served as a federal prosecutor in New York and for the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington, DC. A graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University, Roth has conducted numerous human rights investigations and missions around the world. 

Professor Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou served as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Mauritania from 2008 until 2009. A Harvard University academic, Prof. Mohamedou is currently Professor of International History at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He is a member of the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, and is regarded as a leading international specialist on the new forms of transnational terrorism.

Sara Pantuliano is a Managing Director at ODI, where she has led the humanitarian team for six years. She is a member of the Global Future Council on the Humanitarian System of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Managing Editor of Disasters Journal and a Trustee of IRIN news and SOS Sahel. She has recently been appointed as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Muslim Aid, and has served on a range of advisory boards, including Oxford University’s Refugees Studies Centre and the UN Association of the UK.

Scalettastrasse 1, 7270 Davos Platz