Secretary-General Appoints Reena Ghelani of Australia United Nations Famine Prevention and Response Coordinator
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Reena Ghelani of Australia as United Nations Famine Prevention and Response Coordinator.
Up to 222 million women, men and children are projected to face acute food insecurity this year and multiple famines are looming. The situation in the Horn of Africa is especially concerning, with millions of lives at risk.
To address this situation, the Coordinator will lead and organize a cohesive system-wide response to rising food insecurity, as well as drought and famine, in the Horn of Africa and beyond. She will work closely with humanitarian and development partners at the regional and global levels, as well as regional bodies and governments, to ensure a coordinated approach to preventing the worst impacts of food insecurity, resulting from climate-induced disasters and other causes.
Ms. Ghelani brings to this position 25 years of wide-ranging experience in international affairs, having served in many countries — including Afghanistan, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka — and across many fields, including humanitarian affairs, child protection, refugee assistance and human rights.
Ms. Ghelani is currently the Director of Operations and Advocacy for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, where she oversees the management of the department’s field operations worldwide. In addition, she supports Humanitarian Coordinators and advises the Emergency Relief Coordinator on operations. During her time in the role, she has overseen the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ operational response to natural disasters and conflict throughout the globe.
In her 17 years with Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Ms. Ghelani has also served as the Director of Change Implementation and the Deputy Director of the Coordination Response Division, among several other positions.
Ms. Ghelani began her career in local government in Australia and the United Kingdom, followed by positions with the Australian Government, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Department of Peace Operations.
Ms. Ghelani is a graduate of Monash University and the University of Melbourne, both in Australia.