Humanitarian Aid in Times of Hot Peace – A talk by Dr.UnniKarunakara

On 5th November 2019, the Department of Arts and Humanities at MAHE Dubai hosted a talk by Dr.Unni Krishnan Karunakara on the topic “Challenges in Humanitarian Aid in Times of Hot Peace.”

Talk-the-walk: Dr.Unni speaks about his work story

Dr.UnniKarunakara is an esteemed alumnus of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. He is an outstanding example of a doctor with a heart of gold. He has over two decades of experience in working in regions of conflict and addressing the healthcare crisis in these regions.

His career has been dedicated towards improving the healthcare system in regions where it is typically hard to get good healthcare, especially regions that have suffered a disaster, conflict, or epidemic. He has been closely associated with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders. He was the medical director for the organization’s Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines and went on to become its International President from the Year 2010 to 2013.

Currently, he is the Trustee of MSF India. He is also a Senior Fellow at Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University.


Learning from the talk

The talk introduced MSF to the students and enlightened them about its core principles and values. The organisation wants to ensure that those in regions of conflict or areas that have suffered a disaster or epidemic have access to the medical care they need. Humanitarian aid work is the only medical assistance available in many such places.

Unfortunately, many countries have started to view humanitarian medical assistance negatively and have started to deny access for aid workers. As the world is becoming increasingly polarised, it has become more and more difficult for aid to reach those who need it the most. Dr.UnniKarunakara spoke about these challenges and how MSF is trying to overcome these challenges.


Well-received is half begun

Dr.Unni’s talk was well-received. The talk ended with a face- to- face conversation between him and Mr. ChiranjibSengupta, Assistant Editor of Gulf News. The talk was attended by over 500 students and faculty of various departments of MAHE Dubai. It was well-received and sparked a genuine interest among the attendees about the organisation and how they can help the MSF in the current scenario.

MAHE Dubai regularly hosts various such talks by many of its alumni who have scaled great heights in their career so as to enlighten and motivate its students in walking the talk.