21.02.2017 - UNESCO Office in Doha

UNESCO Doha highlights role of the media in humanitarian crises at international conference on human rights-based approach to conflict situations in the Arab region in Doha

Speaking in a working group focused on "Humanitarian aid in conflict affected areas in the Arab Region," UNESCO Doha stressed the role of the media in humanitarian crisis and the need to recognize humanitarian communication initiatives as urgent humanitarian priority along with the needs for food, shelter and medical relief.

The conference was organized under the patronage of HE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior by the National Human Rights Committee, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and in collaboration with the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers and the Arab Network for National Human Rights Institutions from 20-21 February 2017 in Doha, Qatar.

During the working group session, UNESCO stated that in the context of conflict "people have important information needs to understand how they can get access to humanitarian aid including access to water, where to find shelter, access to medical care".

"Enhanced coordination and exchange of information between the media, humanitarian workers and UN agencies can help ensure the information needs of communities are answered. Similarly, if communication amplifies the voices of communities in crisis, it can enhance the humanitarian response by ensuring the humanitarian aid delivered corresponds to the needs and concerns expressed by populations at risk". 

Examples of initiatives carried out by UNESCO in numerous countries including Jordan, Yemen, South Sudan were shared and actions by the Organization's partners, including BBC Media Action's Lifeline programming, were presented to participants as best practices

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