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VOA Reporters Moderate Hot Topic Panels at Global Disaster Relief Summit

Steve Herman and Lilica Kitanovska moderate discussions at Global Disaster Relief Summit, Sept 7 & 8, 2016.
Steve Herman and Lilica Kitanovska moderate discussions at Global Disaster Relief Summit, Sept 7 & 8, 2016.

Voice of America’s Twitter King and the Chief of one of VOA’s smallest services - who better to have moderated two discussions on social media and the global refugee crisis at this year’s Global Disaster Relief Summit?

That’s right, Steve Herman, VOA’s Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, or better known as our Twitter King, and Lilica Kitanovska, Chief of VOA’s Macedonian Service, led informative discussions at the two-day gathering in Washington D.C. organized annually by the Aid and International Development Forum. The Summit strives to enable quicker and better response during crisis and catastrophes in a more effective, sustainable and cost-efficient way and it includes a vast number of representatives from various worldwide organizations.

The panel, “Social Media and Social Networks,” moderated by VOA’s Steve Herman, explored some of the latest applications supporting disaster response around the world. “This was the second time for me to join an AIDF conference and it's most valuable to exchange information. I got at least one good story idea from the roundtable and got a bit of insight into some of the current trends in the aid world,” said Herman.

Herman, a veteran journalist who spent 26 years in Asia, reporting from Tokyo and as a VOA correspondent and bureau chief in India, Korea and Thailand, is known for his speedy ability to report up-to-the-minute news to his 44,000 followers on twitter.

During the “Responses to Current Global Refugee Crisis” panel, VOA’s Lilica Kitanovska led the discussion that focused on challenges and best options for responding to the crisis at various regions of the world. Two other panelists, Hilmi Mohamed, Coordinator and Specialist for Shelter and Settlement at InterAction and Brian Hansford, UNCHR Spokesperson in Washington joined Kitanovska for the conversation. Macedonia, a very small European country dealt with an average flow of about 2,000 migrants a day for several consecutive months last year. VOA Macedonian reported on this world concerning issue extensively, presenting its audience with first hand coverage of events unfolding in the region. “The conference participants were very engaged, posed questions and offered their comments. Although it was the last panel of the day, everyone stayed until the end as the conversation went over the projected time. We kept the discussion flowing, interesting and interactive,” said Kitanovska following the round-table discussion.