On the 28th of February 2024, the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies (CHS), in close collaboration with the Office of the Special Envoy of the Arab League Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, H.E. Sheikha Hessa bint Khalifa Al Thani, successfully convened a ground-breaking workshop titled: "Developing a Comprehensive, Arab Mechanism for Humanitarian Affairs" within the League of Arab States or as an affiliated initiative. The event, held in Doha, addressed the pressing need for a coordinated response to the region's growing humanitarian challenges and represents a significant step towards improving intra-Arab cooperation in the humanitarian field.

The workshop gathered a group of Arab academics, experts, diplomats, and practitioners in the humanitarian field, both in-person and virtually. Participants engaged in rigorous discussions aimed at exploring the structure and feasibility of an Arab humanitarian mechanism dedicated to strengthening humanitarian efforts across the region.

The workshop facilitated constructive discussions between participants from a range of sectors, including leading humanitarian organisations, international bodies, and academic institutions. The discussions focused on the critical role of the proposed Arab mechanism in humanitarian affairs, stressing the need for a coordinated approach to address the complex challenges faced by the Arab region, from conflict to natural disasters and beyond.

Key priorities for the proposed humanitarian Arab mechanism were outlined during the sessions, including the identification and mitigation of risks such as climate change and conflicts. Participants emphasised the importance of building the capacities of local entities in identifying the needs of Arab societies and responding effectively to emergencies, encouraging reliance and trust in local and regional rather than international organisations.

To pave the way for a more robust and adaptable humanitarian framework in the Arab world, the workshop also emphasised the importance of fostering trust and establishing clear guidelines for humanitarian work, including the provision of humanitarian aid in the short and long-term, towards development and peacebuilding.

The collaboration between the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies and the Special Convoy of the Arab League Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs is anticipated to kickstart a series of discussions and workshops aimed at bolstering the proposed mechanisms and cooperation within the humanitarian sector. This initiative is a testament to the shared commitment to fostering peace and development across the Arab region and is just the first step in the development of a comprehensive Arab humanitarian mechanism.