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Virtual Humanitarian Congress Berlin: Exposing Power & Privilege in Times of Crisis

26 October 2020 - 30 October 2020


Hosted by Médecins Du Monde, the German Red Cross, the Berlin Chamber of Physicians, Médecins Sans Frontières Germany and this year’s official partners Greenpeace and Oxfam Germany.

When we titled the 2019 Humanitarian Congress Berlin – A Perfect Storm – we did not expect that The Perfect Storm was in fact still ahead of us. Early this year we took the difficult decision not to run the Humanitarian Congress in Berlin as originally planned. Regardless of whether the event could technically take place in Berlin, we knew that we would not be able to make sure the diverse speakers and participants we were planning to invite, would be able to travel to Berlin. Communities and humanitarian actors are facing multiple challenges in responding to the global Covid19 outbreak in addition to balancing the response to pre-existing crises. We thus concluded, that 2020 was a year, in which critical debate and a platform to openly discuss the most pressing humanitarian issues, was needed more than ever. We have therefore decided to launch the first virtual Humanitarian Congress Berlin.

This is a time of major upheaval, once again exposing deep structural and social inequalities. This year’s programme will therefore revolve around the theme: Exposing Power & Privilege in Times of Crisis. We will be discussing the existing power imbalances in the humanitarian sector and discuss how social inequalities shape the global response to crises. We will confront emerging issues such as the fight against the spread of misinformation and the private sector’s profiteering on drugs, tests, and vaccines used for the COVID-19 pandemic. We will discuss how the pandemic has redefined vulnerability and talk about issues such as gender-based violence. We will address racism and white privilege and talk about decolonising humanitarian action, issues where the humanitarian sector still has a long way to go. In addition, we will follow up the conversation from last year’s event and discuss the humanitarian consequences of climate change, including a session on preparing for a 1-4 degree world, the role of the climate crisis in relation to urbanisation and of course, how to tackle a health and a climate crisis simultaneously.

Registration and current draft programme can be found here.


26 October 2020
30 October 2020


Online event


Humanitarian Congress Berlin