Northwestern Events Calendar


WEBINAR SERIES: What the Covid-19 Pandemic Means for Refugees—The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)

When: Wednesday, April 8, 2020
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: FREE

Contact: Cindy Pingry   (847) 467-1933


Category: Global & Civic Engagement, Academic, Lectures & Meetings


This webinar series, hosted by the Colloquium on Refugees, Migrants and Statelessness (a working group of the Center for International and Area Studies at Northwestern University), aims to provide frontline information about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugees around the world.

This week we will hear from Elizabeth Campbell and Gwyn Lewis with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the primary agency responsible for delivering health care, education and humanitarian assistance to 5.6 million Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. UNRWA's 3300 health staff across 144 health clinics are implementing risk mitigation approaches in its health centers for patients who require hospitalization, as well as strengthening existing hotlines, the use of telemedicine for phone consultations and home delivery of drugs. Still, it is a race against time as UNRWA is working in conflict situations and with populations living in highly dense camp and urban environments.

about the speakers

Elizabeth Campbell is Director of UNRWA’s Representative Office in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining UNRWA, Campbell was the senior humanitarian policy advisor in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the US Department of State, where she worked on refugee and humanitarian issues in the United Nations system. Campbell has also served as a senior advocate for Refugees International, where she focused on the humanitarian crises in East Africa and the Middle East. She was director of Refugee Council USA, an NGO consortium focused on refugee resettlement and protection. Prior to that, she worked for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Kenya. Campbell holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Gwyn Lewis leads all programmatic and operational components of UNRWA operations throughout the West Bank. An Irish national, she has over 18 years of experience in humanitarian and development work. Before being assigned to Jerusalem, she was the Deputy Director for Programs in UNRWA Lebanon. Prior to working in UNRWA, Ms. Lewis managed the Global Clusters Coordination section in UNICEF’s Emergency Division. She joined UNICEF from FAO in 2012, where she focused on Humanitarian Policy and supporting FAO country offices in providing humanitarian response. Prior to that, Ms. Lewis worked with OCHA in Geneva building UN and NGO partners and supporting the roll out of the humanitarian reform agenda.

Link for Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 603 397 580

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Meeting ID: 603 397 580

The Colloquium on Refugees, Migrants and Statelessness brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars, practitioners and policy makers in order to contribute to the public understanding of movement across national borders, with the aim of reducing the risk of harm, confronting social disfranchisement, and changing the international community’s response to refugee and migrant needs.

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