Active interest in humanitarian projects

by Patrick Khamadi, Sven Ramones,  2011/11/15

On October 28 and 29, 2011, the "13th Humanitarian Congress - Theory and Practice of Humanitarian Action" took place in Berlin. The event, which took place at the facilities of the Charité Universitätsmedizin institution, was attended by more than 350 participants from various different fields.

Besides members of humanitarian organisations, students, medics, university staff and German citizens, the congress also welcomed international teams from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Also humedica was well represented at the congress with an information stand. Represented by the staff team Susanne Merkel, Ursula Miller, Maren Kuchler, Klaus Haas and Patrick Khamadi, humedica answered the questions from numerous interested visitors, and also provided information.

Active interest in the humanitarian projects was also demonstrated at the humedica stand. Photo: humedica

Several discussions developed during the various different events based on the topic of the congress "Ideals, Reality and Compromise - Do we meet Humanitarian Needs?" .

The direction of the meeting was provided at the opening speech. Based on this speech an analysis of the meaning of global, social and economic reality developed, and a discussion about how conflict-relevant humanitarian problems can arise from this reality.

Keynote speaker Dr. David McCoy of the Royal College of Physicians from Great Britain emphasised the importance of handling humanitarian problems in a more integrated way, independent of the respective context.

He called on humanitarian organisations in particular to take a step beyond first aid measures as a reaction to emergency and disaster situations and instead to think and plan taking medium- and long-term perspectives of aid into account.

One of the main issues addressed by McCoy was the often neglected cause for justice for those affected and the need for better cooperation among humanitarian relief organisations.

McCoy reminded the participants of how important it was to keep up the moral discourse during each humanitarian relief mission.

In open discussions during the seminars, participants basically agreed that there was still much ground to improve within the humanitarian response in general.

The broad variety of covered topics at the meeting and the keen interest of participants substantially contributed an animated atmosphere to this year's congress.

Participants had the opportunity of exploring in detail some of the basic principals, programmes and mechanisms that are part of the humanitarian field and its various sectors especially during the small group discussions.

Across all events, the speakers were prepared to answer the participants' questions referring to their various key areas.

These areas were for example the meaning of medical care, the role of the government in financing humanitarian relief aid, security issues and the role of international military units in humanitarian aid, such as a review of the year 2010 on the earthquake in Haiti and the flood in Pakistan.

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