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Yale hosts panel on the global child refugee crisis

September 29, 2015

Representatives from some of the world’s largest development, aid, and relief agencies will convene at Yale for a campus-wide working session to address the global child refugee crisis.

The event takes place Oct. 5 from 1 to 2 p.m. in Henry R. Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave.

The group will discuss current initiatives and approaches to reaching and supporting young children affected by war and displacement. They will also identify priority areas of programming, support, and intervention to grant young children not only their safety, but also access to services and environments to allow them to thrive.

Panelists will include:

  • Nicholas Alipui – UNICEF’s director of programmes and director and senior adviser on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
  • Ayla Goskel – CEO, Mother and Child Foundation (Turkey)
  • Unni Karunakara – Former international president of Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and senior fellow at the Jackson Institute
  • Katie Murphy – Early childhood development technical advisor at International Rescue Committee
  • Christopher George - Executive director of IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, New Haven).

“Millions of children around the world are living in dire situations of conflict, violence and insecurity,” said Angelica Ponguta, associate research scientist in the Yale Child Study Center. “There is an urgent need to galvanize policies, programs and global action to support young children and families who have fallen victims of the war. In light of this need, faculty members working in the areas of conflict, family studies, and early childhood development across Yale feel it is paramount to work together with the community to provide key recommendations.”

The first 45 minutes will consist of a panel of practitioners from local and global agencies who would be asked to address the following questions:

  • Describe the ways in which your agency is currently approaching its programming to address the war and displacement crisis in the Middle East and North Africa region, with emphasis on young children and families
  • What are the greatest challenges in reaching the most vulnerable children and providing safety as well as access to services and environments to protect and promote their healthy development? How is the agency trying to overcome these challenges?
  • Provide key recommendations on concrete high-impact areas where the international academic community should consider partnering with aid, development, and relief agencies to support on-the-ground efforts

The last part of the first session will welcome questions from the audience regarding panel contributions. Attendees will be asked to provide their email for forthcoming and ongoing communications/activities, including Yale’s participation in an emerging Global Early Childhood Peace building Consortium.

Based on this discussion, the ultimate goals of the working session are to convene a working group comprised of members of the Yale community interested in remaining engaged in activities related to this effort and then generate a plan of action for the working group to delineate a set of concrete activities to support on-the-ground efforts.

The working session is sponsored by the Yale Child Study Center, the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, Yale Global Health Leadership Institute, and the Yale UNICEF Chapter.

(Photo via Shutterstock)

Submitted by Nancy Shemrah Fallon on September 29, 2015