Relaunched COVID-19 webinar series


The READY Initiative, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Centre for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins University and the Geneva Center of Humanitarian Studies are pleased to announce the relaunch of its COVID-19 & Humanitarian Settings webinar series. Occurring monthly, these webinars feature a series of panels examining some of the controversial and under-explored issues affecting the COVID-19 pandemic in humanitarian settings.


How have COVID-19 and commitments to decolonize aid accelerated power shifts within the humanitarian sector (or not)?”

Wednesday, 13 January 2021, 8-9 EDT / 2-3pm Geneva

Over the past year, COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, and social justice movements around the globe have forced the humanitarian sector to reckon with how it delivers aid. Progress toward the localization agenda — and a commitment to fundamentally decolonizing aid — are crucial for organizations and communities to respond effectively to outbreaks such as COVID-19. While the sector has taken steps towards this goal, are these changes here to stay? Join READY’s Chief-of-Party Laura Cardinal and a select group of distinguished panelists to explore this important and timely topic in the final webinar of this series.


Laura J. Cardinal, Chief-of-Party, READY, Save the Children

Laura is a senior humanitarian with 13 years of experience at Save the Children, which includes extensive experience working with country and regional offices on program management, operational capacity building, systems improvement, and implementation and operations monitoring.  She currently leads the READY initiative, a BHA-funded, Save the Children-led consortium of operational and academic partners building capacity of NGOs globally to respond to large-scale infectious disease outbreaks. Laura has prior experience delivering large, multi-sectoral health, nutrition, and WASH programs in South Sudan, the Philippines, and Cambodia. Laura holds a Masters in Public Health and a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University.


Dr. Jemilah binti Mahmood, Founder of Mercy Malaysia;Under Secretary General for Partnerships, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Before joining IFRC, Dr. Mahmood was Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat at the United Nations. She is well known as the founder of MERCY Malaysia, which she led from 1999-2009, and her previous appointments include Chief of the Humanitarian Response Branch at UNFPA; Senior Fellow at Khazanah Nasional Berhad in Malaysia’s Khazanah Research and Investment Strategy Division, and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the Humanitarian Futures Programme at Kings College in London. In 2006, she was one of 16 members appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the Advisory Group of the Central Emergency Response Fund. Jemilah Mahmood is also a special advisor to the Hon. Prime Minister of Malaysia. She is a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from the National University of Malaysia, has a Masters in Obstetrics & Gynaecology from the same university, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists United Kingdom.

Corinne Delphine N’Daw, Country Director, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Oxfam

Corinne joined Oxfam DRC in April 2019 as Country Director. Corinne has more than twenty years of experience in senior country management positions with leading development institutions (World Bank, United Nations, European Union), governments, and NGOs in complex development and humanitarian contexts. Before this assignment, she was the Senior Resilience Advisor with the UNDP sub-regional platform in Dakar, and also served as the UN Women Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa. Corinne is from Cote d’Ivoire, and holds Masters degrees in Public Administration (Harvard University) and International Economics and Finance (Brandeis University).

Su’ad Jarbawi, Regional Vice President, Middle East and Northern Africa, International Rescue Committee 

Su’ad has been serving as the regional vice president for the MENA region with IRC since July 2020. Prior to this role, she served as regional director for the Middle East with Mercy Corps, overseeing critical programming and operations in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine (West Bank/Gaza), Syria and Yemen. Her former roles with Mercy Corps include program manager in Sudan, head of office in Haiti, and global emergencies team leader in Yemen, Mali, Syria and the Central African Republic. Su’ad holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Earlham College in Indiana and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. Originally from Palestine, Su’ad is passionate about global affairs.

Sonia Walia, Acting Health Team Lead and Health Advisor, USAID/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)

Sonia has worked in humanitarian health and nutrition assistance for over 15 years, and her experience includes responses to natural disasters, complex emergencies, and outbreaks. Prior to joining USAID, she was the Regional Coordinator for Asia with the International Medical Corps. Sonia holds a Biology degree from the University of Georgia, a Respiratory Therapy degree from the Medical College of Georgia, and Master of Public Health degree from The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. 

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“Which Health Services in Humanitarian Settings should we NOT provide during COVID-19?”

Wednesday, 18 November 2020, 8-9am EDT/2-3pm Geneva

Recordings of this webinar are available here.

“Why is COVID-19 NOT transmitting in humanitarian settings as expected…or is it?”

Wednesday, 14 October 2020, 8-9am EST/2-3pm Geneva

Recordings of this webinar are available here.