Tag Archives: UN

IIHA Hosts New York Liaison Office for the Academic Council on the United Nations System


October 20, 2017, New York City – The Institute for International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University is pleased to announce that it has agreed to host the New York Liaison Office for the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS).

ACUNS is a global professional association of educational and research institutions, individual scholars, and practitioners active in the work and study of the United Nations, multilateral relations, global governance, and international cooperation. As the liaison office, IIHA will serve as a contact point for other ACUNS members to connect with United Nations based organizations in New York, as well as with local scholarly communities.

In this function the IIHA will also organize functions – lectures, seminars, workshops, and conferences – in cooperation with local UN bodies, other international organizations, NGOs, and academic institutions.

Brendan Cahill, the Executive Director of the IIHA who will also serve as the Liaison Officer, said, “This is the logical next step in our work with ACUNS – promoting its mission and sharing our own academic and nonacademic work with so many partners throughout the world.”

The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) prepares current and future aid workers with the knowledge and skills needed to respond effectively in times of humanitarian crisis and disaster. Our courses are borne of an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines academic theory with the practical experience of seasoned humanitarian professionals.

This partnership opens new academic possibilities for students and humanitarian workers engaged in the range of humanitarian educational opportunities offered by the IIHA, including: a Master of Arts in Humanitarian Action, Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies, and an Undergraduate Major/Minor in Humanitarian Studies.


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Alumni Update: Elisa Carlaccini (IDHA 30, MIHA)

Elisa Carlaccini (IDHA 30, MIHA) was recently featured in the article “From mapping to kidnaps, UN aid workers train for refugee crises,” during a UNHCR Simulation in Thies, Senegal.

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by | April 16, 2016 · 3:12 pm

Education in Emergencies and SDG #4

The Open Working Group’s Proposal for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also known as the Zero Draft managed to put forward an ambitious and comprehensive agenda to tackle poverty, climate change and social exclusion but had some glaring blind spots. Focusing on developmental challenges, political inclusion and preventive action, the response to humanitarian crises was not a priority and was only mentioned in the Introduction to the first document but not in any of the Goals and Targets. As part of the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations, in May 2015, two of the 169 targets (both related to resilience in Goals 1 and 11) included a specific reference to the people affected by humanitarian emergencies. In a world with ever growing numbers of forcibly displaced people caused by conflicts and natural disasters it will be impossible to achieve the ‘getting to zero’ concept of the SDGs if humanitarian crises are not put at the center of the world’s attention.

Most of the people affected by those crises are children. For anyone working on education the Proposal of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 opened an unprecedented window of hope marking a significant improvement from the quantitative approach of the Millennium Development Goals and the limited scope of the Unesco’s Education For All Objectives. But there is no chance of achieving the targets of Goal 4 (from universal primary and secondary education, to the equal access to vocational and tertiary education, to the improvement in the quality of teachers around the world) if we leave behind the children who have been forced to leave their homes because of violence or weather-related disasters.

More than half of the people displaced by conflict in the world today are children. War has a dramatic disproportionate impact on the life of children, disrupting the school systems and compromising their future. When children reach refugee camps the availability of schools is limited and the quality of the education insufficient. Even in protracted crises we haven’t been able to ensure universal access to quality education for the children that have been living in camps for years. Half of the 57 million children who are out of school today live in conflict-affected countries. Without a concerted effort to provide them with enough classrooms, material and qualified teachers Goal 4 will be unmet in fifteen years time.

It has been estimated that in this decade 175 million children will be affected by natural disasters (STC, 2014). The Nepalese earthquake of 2015 left more than one million children without classrooms. The drought in the Sahel region forced dozens of thousands of children to leave the schools in order to find food for their families. The number of natural disasters will increase in the next years and with it the number of children that will some level of traumatic disruption to their schooling. If the needs of these millions of children are not addressed specifically addressed we might end up with more children out of school in 2030 than the ones we have in 2015.

The Sustainable Development Goals will have a major impact on donor policies in the next years. Recent declines in funding for education in emergencies have limited the capacity of local and international agencies to respond to the needs of the children. Putting humanitarian crises at the heart of SDGs Goal 4 would create the necessary impulse to convert the drama of displacement into an opportunity for learning.

Today Governments, private institutions and international organizations are rethinking the way education is provided in a rapidly changing world. If we don’t incorporate children affected by conflict and natural disasters the predictable outcome will be more poverty, more despair, widening inequality and the failure of the international community to take care of the most vulnerable amongst us.

-Gonzalo Sánchez-Terán, June 2015

This post is based off remarks prepared by Gonzalo Sánchez-Terán in advance of the 2015 International Conference on Sustainable Development – “Implementing the SDGs: Getting Started,”  hosted at Columbia University from September 23-24, 2015. Gonzalo SánchezTerán is a frequent tutor for the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA) and a graduate of IDHA 16. From October 4th – 8th, 2015, he will direct the 2nd IIHA Education in Emergencies (EiE) course in Amman, Jordan. Learn more


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World Humanitarian Day 2015

August 19th was World Humanitarian Day, which is a time to recognize those who willingly put their lives in danger in order to help others. The day was designated by the General Assembly to coincide with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq. Organizations and agencies around the world hosted events and issued special edition articles and publications to commemorate the day, including tributes to humanitarian aid workers collected by the National Memorial for Aid Workers in the UK. World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe.

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Alumni Update: Christian Ghilardi (IDHA 34)

Cristian Ghilardi (IDHA 34) is a Programme Management Coordinator for CARE International UK and has focused recently on CARE’s EMPHASIS (Enhancing Mobile Populations’ Access to HIV and AIDS Services, Information and Support) project in South Asia which aims to reduce HIV&AIDS vulnerability among cross-border migrants from Bangladesh to India and Nepal to India; and to influence national and regional policies relating to safe mobility. A key component of the project is to focus on women’s empowerment along the continuum of mobility. As this 5-year initiative comes to a close, CARE International and the Overseas Development Institute organized the International Conference, “Women, Migration and Development: Investing in the Future,” to share learning from CARE’s EMPHASIS project and other CARE International initiatives worldwide. This conference, which took place last week (July 17th & 18th) in Waterloo, London, brought together policy makers, donors, practitioners, private sector, government and UN agencies to focus on issues, challenges and opportunities around migration. The conference highlighted the need to acknowledge migration as a key factor for sustainable development and the need to better protect the human rights of migrants. It also focused on the particular vulnerabilities faced by women migrant workers and encouraged advocacy for specific policy responses and practical solutions that can be scaled up and replicated, based on CARE’s experience in the EMPHASIS project in South Asia and other programmes.

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