World Renowned Humanitarian Experts Gathered at Global Disaster Relief Summit 2016

World Renowned Humanitarian Experts Gathered at Global Disaster Relief Summit 2016

The AIDF Global Disaster Relief Summit 2016 was held in Washington D.C. on 7-8 September at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Over two days the Summit gathered around 350 senior representatives of government and UN agencies, national and international NGOs, donor organisations, military, research institutes, private sector, and the media.

Topics discussed at this year’s Global Disaster Relief Summit included innovation and good practice in emergency procurement, data and ICT strategy, humanitarian logistics, emergency health and WASH, financing and payment models, as well as lessons learned from recent emergencies  and responses to the global refugee crisis.

The opening keynote speech was delivered by world renowned humanitarian technology expert Dr Patrick Meier. Patrick discussed application of AI and robotics to aid and development efforts in Nepal and around the world. He’s the founder of UAViators, a network which promotes safe and effective use of UAVs in humanitarian and development settings, international consultant for Facebook, Planet Labs and World Bank Group and co-founder of Digital Humanitarian Network, Werobotics.

Other keynote speakers at the AIDF Global Disaster Relief Summit 2016 included Nikolaj Gilbert, Global Director of Partnerships at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS); Dr Thomas R. Frieden, Director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and Elizabeth A. Zimmerman, Associate Administrator at the Office of Response & Recovery of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

As a world premier on an international stage, the Summit hosted an interactive mobile-based Disaster Response Simulation to recreate post-crisis supply chain challenges. Using virtual and live action role play, the simulation allowed participants to represent one of the four sectors working in a crisis scenario: business, government, individual or non-profit organisations. The objective was to coordinate efficient delivery of humanitarian assistance to countries affected by recent natural disaster. Watch this flashback video and learn how the international relief community responded to the natural disaster during the simulation session.

The Planet of the Apps, also a new feature of this year’s Global Disaster Relief Summit, showcased some of the latest mobile applications supporting worldwide disaster response operations, including Share The Meal, ETC Reporter, mVAM, ReliefWeb Videos, ReliefWeb Headlines, MyTrac™ and Refugee Aid App (RefAid). A summary of the Planet of the Apps can be found here.

For more information about the AIDF Global Disaster Relief Summit 2016, please visit:

Post event report and materials are available at


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