First Lady of Turkey and Cherie Blair CBE Q.C to address key humanitarian and development issues in London this week


London will host leading dignitaries and game changers in the development sector including leading champion of women’s economic empowerment Cherie Blair CBE Q.C and First Lady of Turkey Emine Erdoğan at the World Humanitarian Forum on April 17 and 18th. 

The World Humanitarian Forum is the only global, call to action event in the field which will call upon governments and policymakers to recognize the increasing need for development and humanitarian assistance as the world is facing growing climate change and conflict challenges. 

“We are delighted to have world leaders and policy makers who have made a concerted effort in addressing humanitarian challenges at our Forum. Our focus this year is on women empowerment and the important role that women play in the humanitarian sector. Empowering women is essential to achieve the SDGs. In fact, empowering women could add $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025.”

“I am very pleased to have the First Lady of Turkey and Cherie Blair join us at the Forum. First Lady of Turkey Emine Erdoğan has played a key role in helping women and refugees, especially offering shelter to over 3.5 million who had to flee Syria. Meanwhile, with her Foundation, Cherie Blair has worked across 100 countries for over ten years on women’s empowerment in low and middle income countries” said the World Humanitarian Forum CEO Feraye Ozfescioglu. 

The event is timely, as the world is at a critical juncture today. We have seen parts of southern Africa devastated by cyclones. From Yemen, to Haiti, we have seen a significant rise in need for humanitarian help. The number of people displaced by conflict alone has risen to 59.5 million compared with 37.5million a decade ago. Despite these growing needs, donor financing has not kept pace. “However, there are many new initiatives and partnerships which are emerging. We are also witnessing new countries such as China, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey pledging further humanitarian support. These new collaborations and partnerships will be discussed at the Forum” Ozfescioglu added.

This week, the world also marks 25 years since Rwandan genocide. Rwanda has made great strides in economic development and healthcare. It is a shining example of how humanitarian and development assistance can bring about significant change in conflict areas. 

Cherie Blair CBE Q.C, who was in Rwanda to commemorate 25 years of the genocide, said, “I have seen for myself, meeting with women entrepreneurs in Rwanda and in many other countries, how empowering women to set up and grow their own businesses can transform not just their own lives but the lives of their communities. The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s projects are co-designed with the women we seek to support and local partners who really understand the context. I am delighted to discuss this approach at this year’s World Humanitarian Forum."

She will be joined by speakers including Toby Lanzer, Assistant SG, UN, Assistant secretary-general of the United Nations, Former Vice President of Sierra Leone Samuel Sam-Sumana, Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait (ECW), Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown, Nadia’s initiative, co-founder, Jane Meseck, Senior Director of Global Programmes and Partnerships, Ndaba Mandela, social justice activist, author and grandson of Nelson Mandela and Mert Firat, Actor and Goodwill Ambassador of UNDP will address the delegates.

The Forum will also host International Disaster Management Exhibition (IDME), Emergency Show London, and Aid&Trade event.