Message from the Chairman of DIHAD
On behalf of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian & Charity Est., it gives me honour to invite you to participate in the 14th edition of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition – DIHAD 2017 to be held in Dubai from March 21 – 23, 2017.

As an active charity foundation in the UAE, we are proud to support DIHAD in all its activities where we can grow and share experiences with the regional and international humanitarian community.

With a world blighted by suffering and poverty, we wish to further facilitate the work of local and regional humanitarian actors to meet with the ultimate goal of reducing suffering around the world.

Ibrahim Bumelha
Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Vice President- Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est.
Chairman of the Higher Committee – DIHAD
Chairman of DISAB


Message from the Executive Chairman of DIHAD
DIHAD, the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference & Exhibition, enters into its successful 14th edition with a unique identity which surpasses all regional and international borders.

With the commencement of DIHAD in 2004, we endeavored to address the global needs of the people and countries affected by crises, disasters and natural calamities. It was our objective to establish a platform and an interface where the world representatives of the corporate and government sectors joined their hands to cultivate the spirit of promoting development, harmony and empowerment. Today, DIHAD has moved a step ahead in the achievement of this vision.

Under the esteemed guidance and patronage of His Highness  Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai, supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est. and also officially supported by United Nations, UAE Red Crescent, Dubai Cares, International Humanitarian City and Organization of Islamic Cooperation, DIHAD has been acknowledged as the region’s sole humanitarian voice, a forum that addresses financial, political, social and also environmental humanitarian issues that face the world today.

Backed by the guidance of the DISAB (DIHAD International Scientific Advisory Board), their enterprise and experience, the DIHAD conference since its inception has played an instrumental role in shaping the opinions of communities and their participation thereby evoking a unified response towards global challenges and human limitations. Over the years, DIHAD has laid an increasing emphasis on the right approach towards creating a progressive community deprived of under-development and suffering.

The DIHAD Exhibition on the other hand has developed into a firm ground for the organizations specializing in the supply of relief goods and services for disaster response operations, humanitarian aid projects and development programs. This year the fair ground looks forward to receiving more than 396 participating companies from various profiles belonging to Development Banks, Procurement, Sanitation and Hygiene equipment manufacturers , logistics, distribution and shipping, Environmental solutions, rescue tools, public safety and fire prevention organizations.

On this occasion, I would like to extend my warm invitation to members of the Humanitarian community to attend and actively participate in this networking forum and together strive to continue serving Humanity and uphold all human values, transcending borders both regional and international.

Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani
Executive Chairman – DIHAD
Chairman, DIHAD International Scientific Advisory Board – DISAB 




When a crisis hits, children are the main victims. They have not caused the crisis, they have not wanted it, but they are the ones whose dreams and prospects are destroyed, whose rights are violated and whose future collapses. Children are the ones who will no longer get the appropriate nutrition and healthcare, the necessary shelter, the essential schooling, and the safety and security of a home environment. They will often be exploited and abused, in all the ways we see, hear and read about..

In the aftermath of disasters and conflicts, it is the children who suffer most from the collapse of the institutions that were meant to ensure their welfare and development.

We are all well aware of the impact of crises and disasters on children, these being highlighted on a daily basis in the many ongoing emergencies. We are aware of – and applaud – the many organisations that focus on children’s needs, physical and psychological ; on children’s rights; but also on child abuse, exploitation, trafficking and, yes, even on child torture; on children as refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs); on children in Syria, on the shores of the Mediterranean and in so many other locations around the globe.. Moreover, we make many collective commitments to mitigate the impact of crises and disasters on children at large-scale conferences, these including the recently held World Humanitarian Summit, last year’s events in Sendai and Paris and, of course, the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In the context of so-called natural disasters, we attempt to reduce risks at the regional, national and community levels. In the context of crises and conflicts, in today’s many war-torn states, we attempt to mediate and to restore peace, also for the sake of children. Finally, too often, we attempt to provide humanitarian assistance there where we have failed to bring about political solutions, thereby targeting the most vulnerable, these always including children..

Children, roughly 25% of our planet’s population, represent 100% of our planet’s future. A malnourished, un-educated and traumatized child will not be tomorrow’s happy, healthy and productive adult.

Being very much aware of the importance and urgency of meeting the needs of children in crises and disasters, DIHAD’s International Scientific Advisory Board has decided that this will constitute the  theme of the next Conference (21-23 March 2017). By bringing together national, regional and international actors, it is hoped that useful ideas will be exchanged, best practices shared and, most importantly, sustainable partnerships made or strengthened; this to benefit the children we speak of and care about. To that effect we will again gather governmental decision-makers, international organisations, non-governmental organisations, members of the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, foundations, charities, academic institutions, the media and an increasing number of practitioners from the private sector.

The DIHAD 2017 Conference Programme will review critical issues related to children and conflict : the consequences, traumas and lasting scars derived from living in – and fleeing from – a war zone ; children as refugees and IDPs and what this truly means for them. We will identify existing gaps in the manner in which these issues are collectively dealt with and propose possible complementary actions.

We will then look at a number of issues in a more holistic, inclusive manner, such as the need for children to have “the essentials” right from the start and in an un-interrupted manner. We will also look at abuse and exploitation and seek an answer to the question : “are we doing all we collectively can to provide children with the necessary protection ?”. Also, we will attempt to understand these troubling occurrences in the wider context of the role of children in our society (and at how children are shaped by that society), bearing in mind prevailing diversities and increasingly rapid evolutions.

Lastly, we will have a number of presentations to highlight specific aspects of the theme, these being delivered by experts and personalities who have had first-hand experience of – and exposure to – issues such as child soldiers and problems specific to the girl child in war-zones.

On behalf of DIHAD’s International Scientific Advisory Board, it will be a great pleasure for me to welcome all who will attend DIHAD’s 14th edition and to thank, on that occasion, those who actively contribute to the acknowledged success of the Conference, the pre-Conference Workshop and the Exhibition. This unique event, held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime-Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, highlights year after year different aspects of our collective humanitarian aid and development work. Moreover, the selected theme and related presentations, as well as the interaction that takes place both at the event and in the margins thereof, duly enhance the knowledge that humanitarian and development actors have about eachother, thereby ensuring clarity in regard to respective roles, capacities and mandates, promoting valuable partnerships and reinforcing the essential notion of coordinated action.

DIHAD 2017 promises, yet again, to be a landmark event!

H.E. Amb. Gerhard Putman-Cramer
Director, DIHAD International Scientific Advisory Board – DISAB