On 14 July 2015, PHAP organized a live online consultation event in support of the South and Central Asia Regional Consultation for the World Humanitarian Summit, focusing on the topic of localizing humanitarian preparedness and response.

Event description

Localizing humanitarian preparedness and response has emerged as an important cross-cutting theme for the regional consultation for South and Central Asia. The WHS regional consultations to date have called for more discipline and predictability in triggering regional and international humanitarian support, and have emphasized that international humanitarian action should be driven by the concept of subsidiarity – ensuring that it supports local decisions and systems instead of supplanting them. To achieve this, the capacity of first line responders at local and national level needs strengthening.

Recommendations to date have included increasing the level of finance going directly to local and national responders; making national coordination and response mechanisms the default in disasters; and building a strong network of deployable capacities, especially in the Global South.

However, different humanitarian crises call for different kinds and degrees of localization. Building on the discussions in the World Humanitarian Summit consultation forum, this event will focus on what localization should mean in practice for different actors involved in the response to natural disasters, protracted crises, and armed conflicts in South and Central Asia.


Priya Marwah Priya Marwah has worked with UNFPA for almost 10 years in the area of Emergency Preparedness and Response. Currently, she is the Regional Humanitarian Response Coordinator for the UNFPA Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO) located in Bangkok. She has managed and coordinated to assist UNFPA COs in emergency preparedness efforts, during acute phases, or in post-crisis situations, including Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Vanuatu, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sudan. Priya has a double bachelors in Psychology from India (Lady Sri Ram College, N. Delhi, India) and the United States (Towson University, Baltimore) and a Masters in Social Work with a specialization in International Policy from Columbia University in New York.
Amjad Mohamed-Saleem Amjad Mohamed-Saleem is a free-lance consultant from Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom and was born in Nigeria. In this capacity he has advised the Commonwealth Foundation, International Alert, among others. In this capacity, he also worked as the Head of Communications and manager of Conflicts Programme for the Cordoba Foundation. He has been country director of the NGO Muslim Aid in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He has also worked in Myanmar, looking at the role the private sector could have in reaching people that humanitarian organizations have trouble reaching themselves, and on issues of peacebuilding and the role of faith in conflict reconciliation in Asia.
Abdullah Al Razwan (Nabin) Abdullah Al Razwan (Nabin) is the Regional Focal Point for South Asia for the UN Major Group for Children and Youth and is based in Bangladesh. Currently working with BBC Media Action, the BBC's international development charity in their resilience (climate and humanitarian) programme, he previously worked with BMB Mott MacDonald, Pathshala South Asian Media Academy, the British Council and the BBC World Service. In addition to his professional experience Nabin is also involved with several national and international organisations including the IFRC and the Youth Climate Movement.
Sema Genel Karaosmanoğlu Sema Genel Karaosmanoğlu has been working in the field of humanitarian aid and international development for over 18 years. She has carried out project work in India, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and now focuses on work inside Turkey. Sema has worked as consultant to a number of aid and development agencies working internationally. In 2005, Sema became the founding member and Director of Hayata Destek / Support to Life (STL), a nongovernmental and impartial humanitarian aid organization with headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey. In addition to post-disaster relief and recovery work, STL is involved in social protection work, along with disaster risk reduction and capacity building. With a Ph.D. degree in Political Science and Public Administration, Sema has lectured in Cultural Anthropology and the Role of Nongovernmental Organizations in the Humanitarian System at universities in Istanbul.
Graeme Smith Graeme Smith joined the International Crisis Group in December 2012 as a Senior Analyst, supervising the small team in Afghanistan. He previously worked as a foreign correspondent for Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, with postings in Moscow (2005), Kandahar (2006-2009), Delhi (2010), and Istanbul (2011). He also served as an Adjunct Scholar for the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His awards include three National Newspaper Awards, Canada's highest prize for print journalism, and the annual Michener Award for public service given by the Governor General of Canada. He also won an Emmy in 2009, for a video series that recorded the views of Taliban fighters. His bestselling book, The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, was published in 2013 by Random House, earning four literary award nominations and winning Canada’s richest non-fiction prize.
Amar Nayak Amar Nayak is currently working as International Humanitarian Programme Manager-Asia with Action Aid International, based in New Delhi. In this role he supports Action Aid country programmes in Asia on disaster preparedness, response and Disaster Risk Reduction. His experience includes leading disaster responses for the Gujarat earthquake in India, the Bam earthquake in Iran, the Indian Ocean tsunami, typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, and the recent Nepal earthquake.

Event host

Angharad Laing Angharad Laing Executive Director, International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP)


Recording (YouTube - faster loading time)

Recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)

Recording (downloadable audio podcast)

Event report

Event supported by

This World Humanitarian Summit consultation event is made possible with the support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany