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European Humanitarian Forum (EHF) in Brussels

March 18 @ 9:00 am - March 19 @ 6:00 pm

The 2024 European Humanitarian Forum in Brussels was attended by GHRD’s EU team. The event discussed various humanitarian issues and the need for international cooperation. The forum began with opening remarks by representatives of EU member states and international organizations, including Janez Lenarčič, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Caroline Gennez, the Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation and of Major Cities, Josep Borrell Fontelles, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, and others.

The panel session focused on the Rohingya refugee crisis, where indigenous Rohingya women Noor Azizah and Hafsar Tameesuddin shared their experiences fleeing persecution in Myanmar and the struggles they and other Rohingya people still face today. The panel aimed to renew attention to the genocide and mass displacement occurring and explain how smaller goals need to be achieved while the large goal of reparation slowly develops.

The third event attended by GHRD’s EU team members was considered a humanitarian talk regarding the current issue in North-West Nigeria, where 5.5 million people face acute food insecurity and constant threats due to over 5000 armed bandit groups causing interrelated conflicts. The people in these regions face threats of kidnapping as a source of terrorist financing, gender-based violence, and recruitment of child soldiers due to being forced out of schooling. Ahmed Murtala Rufai and Abdulmalik Gajam, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning of the Zamfara state government, explained the current issues faced in depth, while Camilla Corradin, the director of the Nigeria INGO Forum, stated that major humanitarian aid is needed as the issue is still a very neglected crisis.

The panel discussion also touched upon the protection of children, with key speakers such as Virginia Gamba, Stella Ronner-Grubačić, the Deputy Managing Director for Values and Multilateral Relations and Ambassador for Gender and Diversity, EEAS, and Pim Kraan, the CEO of Save The Children, discussing the risks children in crisis situations face, such as violence, abuse, exploitation, and child marriage. Key issues included the deprivation of the basic right to education and development for girls, constant fear, and the general lack of resources such as food and water.

Lastly, the plenary discussion on sexual abuse faced by women in the Democratic Republic of Congo was attended by influential speakers such as Dr. Denis Mukwege Mukengere, Natalia Kanem, Caroline Gennez, and activist Rebecca Kabuo. The discussion described the horrors women have to face, where sexual violence is used as a weapon of war, leading to significant pregnancies and traumatized children. Peace is urgently needed to allow these people to return to their homes and rebuild their lives without fear.

In conclusion, the 2024 European Humanitarian Forum highlighted the importance of international cooperation and the need to address the hidden costs of conflict and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)


Place Sainte-Croix
Brussels, Hoofdstedelijk Gewest 1050 Ixelles Belgium
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