How CERAH Came About

The creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863 made Geneva the centre of humanitarism and the city synonym of International Geneva

Geneva is the Headquarter of the United Nations, its main Agencies - OCHA, UNICEF, UNDP, UNHCR, IOM - as well as of a few hundreds of international organizations and NGOs, centres of competencies and think-tanks.

In the 1970s and 80s, some of the larger humanitarian organizations offered operational training for humanitarian actors. In order to respond to an increasingly need the following years,  the University of Geneva, supported by a number of international organizations and the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, created in 1998 PPAH - a plurifaculty Programme for Humanitarian Action. The main objective of this newly programme was to offer high-level, continuous education for humanitarian practionners, meaning a diploma in humanitarian action.    

In 2004, the programme was radically transformed, under the impulsve of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute, and re-named PIAH - Interdisciplinary Programme in Humanitarian Action. PIAH offered a wider course programme including a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Humanitarian Action, in parthership with ICRC and MSF Switzerland. 

CERAH - Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action was created four years later, as the result of the partnership between the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. 


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