A cohort of 38 humanitarian aid workers from 25 countries began the monthlong International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance program at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus on June 4.
The aid workers take part in multidisciplinary courses designed to simulate a humanitarian crisis. It is run by Fordham’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA).
The program is offered three times a year and rotates between Fordham, and humanitarian aid hubs abroad such as Cairo, Geneva and Nairobi. Since its inception in 1997, more than 800 humanitarian workers have graduated from the program.
“We live in a universe with humanitarian affairs that has changed explosively in the last 50 years,” said former United Nations diplomat Peter Hansen, who greeted the aid workers on their first day. “We have gone over changes more profound in these last 50 years than the period from the Treaty of Westphalia to the Second World War.”
As part of the program, Vanessa Redgrave, the Academy Award-winning actor and social activist, met with the humanitarian aid workers and screened a documentary film by her son, Carlo Nero, about UNICEF.