Our Programmes



Sign up to our newsletter.

Follow ODI

Ground truths: local humanitarians in conflict

Time (GMT +01) 13:00 14:30

Ground truths: local humanitarians in conflict


Christina Bennett @cr_bennett - Research Fellow, Humanitarian Policy Group ODI


Ibrahim Olabi @IbrahimOlabi - Executive Director, Syrian Legal Development Programme (SLDP)

Halima Adan - Project Manager, Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC)

Kinan Abo Thaer - Field Coordinator, Proximity International

Nagwa Konda - Civil society activist and former Director of Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation and Development Organisation (NRRDO)



Local actors are increasingly recognised as a core part of humanitarian response – in 2014, four out of five humanitarian organisations operating globally were national organisations. From the Greek volunteers in Lesvos to organisations in Syria and South Sudan, local organisations and individuals work within and outside of the humanitarian system to assist the most vulnerable.

However, attacks on aid workers in conflict countries are on the rise, and national humanitarians continue to pay the highest price. Since 2015, twelve times more national than international aid workers have been killed. Often working in places where international organisations lack access, and without the security protection and evacuation options afforded to their international counterparts, national humanitarians take on a significant degree of risk to carry out their work.

How do local humanitarians navigate the challenges of humanitarian and protection work while dealing with risk and insecurity in their own countries? Ahead of World Humanitarian Day and the commemoration of humanitarian aid workers at Westminster Abbey, this event will bring together panellists working with national organisations in Syria, Somalia and elsewhere to answer this question, and share their perspectives and experiences.

203 Blackfriars Road London