The Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) Tuesday concluded a two-day knowledge-exchange workshop in Doha, which focused on developing innovative solutions to address humanitarian crises, and exchange of knowledge and experience in this area.
The Emergency Response Learning Workshop was co-designed by QFFD and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was attended by over 30 representatives from a selection of charities, educational institutions, and international organisations based in Doha, including Qatar Charity, Qatar Red Crescent Society, Education Above All; Silatech, Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other international institutions.
Officials and experts from several local and international organisations shared their views on the strategic and programmatic aspects of the humanitarian aid sector, as well as operational experiences from the field and the challenges of allocating resources between strategic needs and unplanned crises.
Innovation within a humanitarian context was the core theme of the workshop, and each organisation presented case studies of successful implementation of innovation and highlighted areas of existing need. The workshop featured a focus on digital financial services to help empower poor communities, as well as innovations in water, sanitation, and health programmes.
The Deputy Director General for Development Projects at the Qatar Fund For Development Misfer al-Shahwani said: "Through its Government institutions and NGOs, the State of Qatar is a key contributor to humanitarian work across various geographies, and actively supports populations facing wars, conflicts or natural disasters through cash and in-kind contributions. The Qatar Fund For Development seeks to enhance its emergency response capabilities by leveraging innovative humanitarian mechanism and integrating the global humanitarian system. This workshop is an excellent opportunity to share experiences and learnings in the humanitarian field between Qatari NGOs and institutions, and international organisations, To share experiences and learn from each other's experiences, thereby contributing to the enhancement of all our capabilities and enhancing our ability to achieve our mission and noble humanitarian goals". 
Dr Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, who leads the Gates Foundations global humanitarian program, commented: "Organisations from Qatar have made valuable contributions to several global health and development initiatives that focus on improving the quality of life for millions of people around the world, especially in the areas of greatest need. Today's emergency response learning workshop has been a great way to share strategic and programmatic views within the humanitarian system, identify promising areas that could benefit from innovation, and develop a framework for working together to advance our shared goals." 
This emergency learning workshop is part of an ongoing commitment by the Gates Foundation to collaborate with regional partners to address the humanitarian and refugee crises in the world. The foundation is focusing on investing in innovative programs with the potential to catalyse positive change for communities affected by displacement.