A member of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit wins an award

Article, 03.11.2014

Johanna Estermann, a member of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit since 2010, has won this year’s Swiss Humanitarian Award, which is given each year to a deserving student by the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH).

Johanna Estermann listens to two Lebanese partners during a field visit
Johanna Estermann (right) during a field visit to the municipality of Al Fared in Lebanon, on the border with Syria. © SDC

CERAH awarded Johanna Estermann this prize for the quality of her Master’s dissertation, entitled “Towards a convergence of humanitarian and development assistance through cash transfers to host communities.  A case study on Wadi Khaled and Akroum - Akkar district, Lebanon”.

Johanna’s work traces the origins, work and challenges of a SDC “Cash for Hosting” project carried out by Swiss Humanitarian Aid in northern Lebanon between 2012 and 2014, with a particular focus on the linkages between emergency aid and longer-term development aid (e.g. revitalising the economy).

The Cash for Hosting project has provided 2,800 Lebanese families with CHF 9.3 million in financial assistance to host Syrian refugees (some 20,000 Syrians have indirectly benefited from the project). Today, Switzerland continues to be active in the region in various ways.

CERAH trains students from around the world who are preparing for a career in humanitarian work. It also benefits from a long-standing partnership with the SDC, which provides it with financial support and also makes available several of its staff members to teach courses at CERAH.