Only one Birmingham-based organisation present at the World Economic Forum


The world’s top leaders, business executives, politicians, charities and NGOs are gathering this week in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum 2018 (WEF). The host organisation is “the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation” that is “committed to improving the state of the world“.

While the invitation-only event is often described as a reunion for the wealthy and the powerful, multiple nonprofits like Oxfam, Plan International and the Malala Fund are attending the international meeting. They are addressing issues like poverty, humanitarian crisis, education, environmental sustainability and economic inequality.

A careful analysis of the publicly available list of attendees reveals only one Birmingham-based organisation has a delegation in Davos this year.

The Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is a thirty-four-year-old international humanitarian organisation headquartered in Digbeth, with multiple offices elsewhere in the world, notably Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.

Naser Haghamed, CEO of the UK-born charity, is attending the event. The Eastside asked the nonprofit’s why it was important for the IRW to attend the reunion:

The World Economic Forum is an important opportunity to highlight Islamic Relief’s work, engaging officials at the highest levels and learning about the latest technologies that can help with our humanitarian efforts. As the world becomes more complex and interconnected, partnerships are essential for providing effective humanitarian relief.

Being in Davos we get exposed to the latest thinking in digitisation and how that helps our sector, creating new useful contacts for future collaboration.

Haghamed is also a member of the WEF’s Global Future Council (GFC). This latter is a two-year project addressing the key issues “facing the humanitarian sector in terms of public-private partnership and embracing new technology to create more effectiveness and efficiency for the sector.”



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