Humanitarian and migration challenges - with Themrise Khan

Humanitarian and migration challenges - with Themrise Khan
- On invitation only -

KUNO facilitated a conversation on challenges of humanitarian action with the independent development professional and publicist Themrise Khan.

Themrise Khan: “The discussion on decolonization and localization in development practice are dominating the discourse amongst Northern donors and INGOs and Southern practitioners and aid recipients. It is framed as a way to “shift the power” between the former colonizers and former colonized states of the world. But this discourse is not the appropriate way to frame or approach the discussion on how a very unequal power dynamic between North and South can be equalized. There are many more nuances in this discussion which these terms actually encourage us to avoid and which we must confront if we are to create equity between nations.”

I challenge these terms and their usage in the development and humanitarian discourse and take a more radical view of how relations between North and South must change to encourage autonomy and equity; firstly, by focusing on the South, by the South, for the South; and secondly, by considering that it is not a “reimagining” of aid that is necessary, but rather the end of aid.

Themrise Khan

She continues: “There are obviously several barriers to such an approach, not the least of which is the resistance to this idea by the powerful North. But more importantly, the resistance by the South itself.

I use the case of the Pakistan Floods of 2022 and Pakistan’s stance on the Afghan refugee issue during the post-Taliban takeover in 2021 to illustrate this resistance, while providing a humanitarian and migration/refugee overview of Pakistan.”

Report, PPT-presentation and further reading

Here is a short report of the introduction of Themrise Khan. And you can find Themrise Khan’s PowerPoint presentation here.


Suggested background material:

Pakistan Floods 2022:

Pakistan Migration Profile/Afghan Refugees in Pakistan:


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