General News

EVENT: Humanitarian crises in the spotlight at Davos

While 2017 was tough, the humanitarian horizon suggests 2018 will be even worse. This week, IRIN is at the World Economic Forum in Davos where we will be discussing crises to look out for in 2018, sharing our unique perspective from the front lines to help policy makers take decisions that save lives.

Tuesday 23 January, 15:00 GMT+1:Watch the live press conference with IRIN Director Heba Aly, alongside Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Sara Pantuliano, Managing Director of the Overseas Development Institute, and moderated by Georg Schmitt, Head of Corporate Affairs at the World Economic Forum.

Wednesday 24 January, 21:00 – 23:00 GMT+1: Watch the Global Humanitarian Outlook, an IRIN-ODI event where we will be in conversation with UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch Ken Roth, Managing Director of the Overseas Development Institute Sarah Pantuliano, and Professor Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, author of A Theory of ISIS, about the crises on the horizon in 2018.

Global Humanitarian Outlook: Fireside Chat at the Tradeshift Sanctuary, Davos

24 January 2018 21:00 – 23:00 GMT+1 | Public event | Streamed live online


Heba Aly @HebaJournalist – Director, IRIN News


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

Ken Roth @KenRoth – Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

Sara Pantuliano @SaraPantuliano – Managing Director, Overseas Development Institute 

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


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. 

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.

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.