The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted humanitarian responses in numerous settings. It is crucial for humanitarian organizations to ensure and maintain humanitarian access and relationships with their counterparts to deliver aid and protection to vulnerable populations. At the Geneva Peace Week (GPW) 2020, the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) together with the French and the German Permanent Missions to the UN are inviting you to join a live session to share collective efforts, knowledge, ideas, and best practices on humanitarian responses to the COVID-19.


During this online panel discussion, we have interactive exchanges with the panelists about public health, security, protection, supply, and budget affected by the current pandemic situation. This live session aims to highlight perspectives of coordination both at headquarters and field levels, to continuously carry on with their work, complying with their organizational mandates and with COVID-19 measures. We seek their opinions and experiences on the implementations of collective efforts, innovative good practices, and humanitarian responses which humanitarian organizations have developed. One of the good practices to maintain access and support the efforts of humanitarian organizations amidst the pandemic which will be discussed is humanitarian negotiation. Content from the event will be summarized in a written report. 


  1. Highlighting the impacts of COVID-19 on humanitarian responses and identifying best practices from collective efforts, as well as humanitarian negotiation to maintain the mandates of humanitarian organizations.
  2. Facilitating the sharing of knowledge, good practices, and experiences in humanitarian access, relationships with stakeholders in the field, public health, security, protection, supply, and budgets, affected by the current global pandemic. 
  3. Bringing together humanitarians, including members of the CCHN community of practice, and other professionals related to the humanitarian sector working in different regions and contexts in an online discussion. 

Opening Remarks

H.E François Rivasseau

Ambassador of the Permanent Representative of France to the office of the United Nations in Geneva and International Organizations in Switzerland

H.E Michael Ungern-Sternberg

Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in Geneva




Hanalia Ferhan (Moderator)

CCHN Negotiation Support Specialist - Africa

Hanalia Ferhan was ACTED's Country Director in Jordan, Iraq and Yemen. She has a decade of professional experience, eight of which in the humanitarian sector working mostly in complex humanitarian settings in the Middle East, as well as leading emergency responses in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Prior to this, she worked for several years in the field of strategic communications, designing interventions in support of women's empowerment, social cohesion and PVE. She holds a Master's degree in International Relations from Sciences Po (Aix-en-Provence) and an MA in War Studies from King's College (London).

Peter Scott-Bowden

WFP Director COVID-19 Surge - Afghanistan

Peter Scott-Bowden is currently deployed to Afghanistan where he is supporting WFP’s management team on the COVID-19 operations. He has worked for the United Nations for over 25 years and is also seconded by WFP as Senior Advisor for the CCHN. He was formerly WFP Representative and Country Director in Sierra Leone for the Ebola response and recovery operations. He worked in one of WFP's largest operation as WFP Deputy Country Director - Pakistan. He joined the UN in Angola in 1992 as Special Assistant to the SRSG. He was then posted as Head of WFP's office in Sarajevo during the war and has subsequently posted as WFP Emergency Coordinator in Kosovo, East Timor and Tsunami operations in Indonesia. Peter also headed WFP’s Pandemic Response team for both H5N1 and H1N1 and has worked across both Africa and Asia enhancing response capabilities of National Disaster Management Authorities.

Abdulrahman Najeh

WFP Head of Office in Deir Ezzor, Syria

Currently serving as the Head of Field Office with WFP in Syria, Abdulrahman’s current focuses are on establishing the WFP office and expanding its operations in Deir Ezzor, including recruiting and building the capacity of WFP staff. He is also working to develop and improve critical relationships with strategic counterparts, humanitarian partners, and other interest groups to facilitate the implementation of WFP’s programmes in the area. He started his career in the humanitarian field in late 2012 as a manager for an IDP center and moved to different positions between NGOs and Syrian Arab Red Crescent. In 2016, he joined WFP as a Programme Assistant (livelihood & VAM) and got promoted to Head of Programme in Aleppo Field Office prior to his current role. He also holds a Master’s degree in business administration and a BA in Economics from the University of Aleppo.

Reshma Adatia

MSF International Operations Coordinator / Head of Humanitarian Diplomacy

Reshma Adatia has been working in the international aid sector both in Canada and abroad for more than 15 years. She is currently the International Operations Coordinator and Head of the Medécins sans Frontières (MSF) Humanitarian Diplomacy Team. In her role as International Operations Coordinator, Reshma chairs the International Platform of MSF Operational Directors, the highest operational management body of the MSF movement facilitating strategic operational exchanges. Head of the Humanitarian Diplomacy Team of MSF, she leads a team of multilateral, bilateral, and thematic representatives, ensuring humanitarian representation efforts are focused on operational priorities, as well as providing strategic advice to the International President and Secretary-General of MSF.

Dr Rudi Coninx

WHO Senior Policy Advisor, Geneva, Switzerland

Dr Rudi Coninx is the Senior Policy Adviser to the Assistant-Director General for Emergency Response at WHO. He leads the unit that provides policy guidance and support for operations in disasters and emergencies, coordinates with interagency bodies such as the IASC (Inter-Agency Standing Committee) and translates policy into practice. Dr Coninx has worked extensively in humanitarian emergencies since 1983, with MSF on missions in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Thailand, with the United Nations Border Relief Operation (UNBRO) as health coordinator at the Thai-Cambodian border, with WHO in Pakistan and Afghanistan during Operation Salam, and with the ICRC in the field as a health coordinator in Sudan, Ethiopia, Mexico (Chiapas), Mozambique, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, as well as with the ICRC in Geneva as technical advisor for public health programs.


Humanitarians, governmental staff, policymakers, and academia are invited to exchange their different experiences and perspectives in this context.

Event Registration

To receive the information on how to connect to this online live session, please register to the Geneva Peace Week website and add this event to your agenda.

Register Now

Join the Live-Tweet

We also encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions during this live session on a live-tweet @frontline-nego.

About the Event

4 November 2020


14:00 - 14:50 (Geneva time)


Cisco Webex


Open to public


In collaboration with

In partnership with

Digital Content

Contact Person

Agusmia Putri Haerani

CCHN Communication Officer
The Government of Uganda and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are distributing take-home food rations to school children in the Karamoja sub-region in north-eastern Uganda to support home-learning while schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the country. Photo: WFP/Hugh Rutherford