March 22 2017

DIHAD 2017 Continues in its 2nd Day

“Children represent 51% of the world’s refugee population”

 Dubai – United Arab Emirates,22nd of March, 2017:  The 14th edition of Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) continued in its second day with participation of key international humanitarians and prominent figures, whom highlighted different topics related to the conference’s theme: “The Impact of Crises & Disasters on Children”.

Amin Awad, UNHCR’s Director for MENA Bureau, and Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Iraq and Syria Situations said: “The theme of this conference is timely. Children represent 51% of the world’s refugee population. Given that so many conflicts have become protracted, tragically, millions of today’s refugee parents were once refugee children. Key international events that bring together the world’s leading humanitarian practitioners, such as DIHAD, are critical to strengthen the child protection response through promoting international standards and increasing access of refugee and asylum-seeking children to quality, multi-sectoral child protection services.”

From his side, H.E. Ambassador Jan Thesleff said: “As a world leading country of innovation, Sweden believes that global humanitarian and development challenges require strong cooperation between academia, industry and the public sector, including development organizations. I am proud to see so many Swedish innovative solutions at DIHAD and I see great potential for enhancing partnerships between Swedish companies and companies and organizations from the UAE and the whole region with regards to business opportunities in general but with focus on international UN procurements.”  

From his side, HE Tariq Al Gurg CEO of Dubai Cares said: “DIHAD’s theme this year – The Impact of Crises and Disasters on Children – is coming at the right time when the world is confronting an unprecedented level of risk and suffering associated with natural disasters and conflict. Despite the growing number of children affected by crises, statistics show that only one percent of overall humanitarian aid and two percent of humanitarian appeals is spent on education.”

He added: “According to the World Bank, people in crisis situations are more than twice as likely to be unable to send their children to school. This makes the need to safeguard children’s right to education in crisis contexts an urgent priority. Moreover, more collaboration is needed, now more than ever, to provide effective education solutions that target children affected by crises. We are confident that DIHAD will help us build bridges between regional and international actors for the benefit of nations who have suffered or are still suffering from wars, catastrophes and crises.”

On the other hand, this year IEC Telecom Group, as a YAHSAT and THURAYA strategic International Service Partner highlights their new technological Satcom solutions that support the humanitarian market.

Mobile satellite communications is the backbone of successful relief operations. In times of crisis and emergency, access to telecommunication services is vital if a community is to get the support it needs, but terrestrial networks simply cannot cope during times of disaster. We have seen it time and again during major disasters where our ruggedized satellite phones and data terminals enabled access to vital information, helping affected communities stay connected with the rest of the world. As a result of satellite solutions, aid agencies can consolidate their relief efforts over time, using semi-fixed modems such as Inmarsat BGAN range or Thuraya IP+ and access corporate applications, manage logistics or even use low bandwidth videoconferencing solutions.

It is worth mentioning that the exhibition space in DIHAD has reached 16 thousand square meters this year, with 20% increase in the space of the conference and the exhibition. The number of associations and organisations participating this year reached 600 from 84 countries. In addition, 66 speakers participated in 11 sessions and 8 workshops. 

DIHAD is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai,and it is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – member of INDEX Holding. The event is supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, International Humanitarian City, OCHA- United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Dubai Cares.

 

 

 

March 21 2017

HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha Inaugurates DIHAD Conference & Exhibition

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 21st of March, 2017: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the 14th edition of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) was inaugurated today by HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha, Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Chairman of DIHAD Higher Committee, President of DISAB, and was held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre.

H.E. Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha was accompanied by His Excellency Dr. Mohammaed Atiq Al Falahi, Secretary General of the Emirates Red Crescent, H.E. Helle Thorning Schmidt, CEO,
Save The Children International, Former Prime Minister of Denmark, and a number of ambassadors, local and international dignitaries.

The theme for this year’s conference is “The Impact of Crises & Disasters on Children” where it will discuss critical topics that will include: How To Better Address The Often-Time Irreparable Damage Caused To Children In Conflict Situations, Children; Abuse and Exploitation, Breaking the Spiral of Violence, Children and Hunger, and Education in Emergencies, to name a few.

In his opening speech, His Excellency Ibrahim Bumelha addressed an audience of international organizations and associations as well as several top notch leaders and speakers in the field, saying: “Every year, Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition – DIHAD brings together leading humanitarian agencies and organizations to convene and exchange their experiences, to discuss key humanitarian issues, to highlight the most important challenges facing crisis-stricken countries, and to improve the response of international organizations and agencies to cope with crises that keep increasing year after year, and with it come more weak and vulnerable victims, especially women and children.”

He continued on saying: “The United Arab Emirates is keen on being at the forefront of countries responding rapidly to crises and humanitarian disasters anywhere and everywhere, and to continuously alleviate the suffering of victims, refugees and displaced victims, based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and their brothers rulers of the Emirates.”

“I want to thank all the Emirati generous donors, who spare no expense or effort to provide all the required financing for the humanitarian aid and relief efforts, programs, and projects, which make the UAE come in a distinctive position in the world’s most generous foreign aid donors list. I would also like to call on everyone to intensify their joint programs and humanitarian activities to alleviate the suffering of children and mitigate the effects of crises and wars, and to work on promoting human dignity, and to spread peace everywhere,” he concluded.

In a speech delivered by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Atiq Al Falahi, Secretary General of Emirates Red Crescent, speaking on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Representative of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in the Western Region and President of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, he said: “The importance of this edition of Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition – DIHAD stems from reviewing critical issues related to children and their ability to obtain their basic rights of health, education, food, and a safe and decent life. The UAE has always acknowledged those rights and worked diligently to support and promote them through a number of initiatives aimed at child victims in various crisis-stricken countries such as Yemen, Syria and Iraq, as well as countries in Africa. Those countries are currently experiencing a famine outbreak, and a vicious spread of severe acute malnutrition.”

 “There, hundreds of thousands of children face famine and starvation, and thanks to our humanitarian aid agencies – led by the UAE Red Crescent Authority, we play a significant role in bridging the food gap and applying ambitious aid programs to improve maternal health, to provide educational opportunities for children forced by poverty and displacement to leave their schools, and to protect them from illiteracy.” H.E. Dr. Mohammed Atiq Al Falahi added.

He concluded: “Through this conference, we look forward to come out with positive ideas and suggestions that will be translated into actual strategic programs and action plans, that when set in motion will save children from the threats and risks that surround them. We hope to reach more strategic partnerships that meet our ambitions and boost mutual cooperation between partners, eventually promoting the noble principles and values ​​that we are all working for.”

From her side, H.E. Helle Thorning Schmidt, CEO, Save The Children International, Former Prime Minister of Denmark, said: “We owe it to the children of Syria, and all children in armed conflict, to do everything we can to end their suffering. We have to step up now. Inaction has consequences: violence and conflict are a vicious generational cycle. To break it, we have to transform the experiences, perspectives and prospects of those who are children today and will shape world in the future.”

As part of the program, HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha toured the exhibition area accompanied by a number of key leaders in humanitarian field, visiting the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the UAE Red Crescent Society, the International Humanitarian City (IHC), Dubai Care, Dubai Police, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, the Al Jalila Foundation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, to name just a few.

Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Executive Chairman of DIHAD and DISAB: “This year, we took DIHAD to another level, we were highly motivated by the theme of this year: (The Impact of Crises and Disasters on Children), we think this theme is timely and touching. Therefore, we have arranged a number of activities that helped in shedding the light on those kids who are suffering from the unfortunate situations and lifestyle they are forced to adapt due to crises, wars and natural disasters.”

Dr. Al Madani also declared that the exhibition space reached 16 thousand square meters this year, with 20% increase in the space of the conference and the exhibition. Moreover, Dr. Al Madani said that the number of associations and organisations participating this year reached 600 from 84 countries. In addition, 66 speakers attended this year to take part in more than 11 sessions and 8 workshops. 

Dr. Al Madani continued: “After fourteen years of hard work and diligent effort, we are very delighted and content about the international reputation that the DIHAD conference and exhibition has achieved so far. This year and for the very first time, we have students attending the conference and taking part in it. We have more than 60 students attending from different universities which will add more value to the conference, and will also raise the awareness in the academic field.”

DIHAD is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – member of INDEX Holding and supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, International Humanitarian City, OCHA- United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Dubai Cares.

 

 

March 22 2016

DIHAD 2016 Continues in its 2nd Day

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Dubai – United Arab Emirates,22nd of March, 2016:  The 13th edition of Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD)  conference and exhibition continued in its second day with participation of key international humanitarians and prominent figures, whom highlighted different topics related to the conference’s theme “The Importance of Innovation in Humanitarian Aid & Development.”

On the sidelines of her first visit to DIHAD 2016, H.E. Joanna Wronecka, Undersecretary of State for Development Cooperation, Africa and the Middle East, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Repulic of Poland said: “It is quite obvious the great role played by the UAE in the field of aid and relief. UAE is one of the largest international donors in the humanitarian aid and crisis response fields. The Republic of Poland, one of the major partners of the UAE, is keen to learn from the UAE’s experience in this vital humanitarian field. The cooperation between the two nations will definitely have a deep impact on those in need for aid.

The conference agenda of the second day included various topics such as Innovative approaches in the application of humanitarian law, incentives to make a change through partnerships for innovation and a special session about the humanitarian impact of the protracted Syria crises, and many others. The conference sessions also discussed the global efforts to eradicate polio, which came back to threaten lives and was about to turn into a pandemic threat. Thanks to global efforts and intervention, the polio outbreak was stopped in its tracks. The GCC efforts to combat the polio spread in the conflict-stricken zones and refugee camps, areas known for the lack of sufficient healthcare services, were highly commended as well.

Abeer Shubassi, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Regional Gulf Director, commented on her participation saying: “We are grateful to DIHAD for providing NRC with a unique platform to engage in key issues in the humanitarian sector and share our regional expertise, including the themes of this year: innovation and development. It is also an exceptional event for NRC to establish and maintain partnerships with main international and regional entities. NRC, through its Geneva-based think tank IDMC, participated as the first speaker in the pre-DIHAD workshop highlighting the need for innovation with regard to displacement related information systems. We are thankful for NRC’s sixth consecutive participation at DIHAD and look forward to the ongoing development of the UAE humanitarian sector in the years to come”.

WFP Participation in DIHAD 2016

The World Food Programme ensures annual participation in the Dubai International Aid and Development (DIHAD) exhibition and conference as it is the ideal platform to share ideas on the improvement of technically sound and principled humanitarian and development assistance.

WFPs Innovation Accelerator Unit based in Munich  nurtures the innovative culture while collaborating with external experts linking WFP operations with the latest technologies and trends to achieve WFPs goal to reach zero hunger. This year in Dihad WFP will showcase  ShareTheMeal App which allows smartphone users to donate to WFP programmes and the Iris scan payment system which allows refugees to purchase food items from local shops using the scan of their eye. ​​Both innovations further simplify the delivery of food assistance, ensuring efficiency and enhancing accountability.

IFRC Innovation Award

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies awarded the Jordan National Red Crescent Society and the Qatar Red Crescent society for their innovative proposals that are address humanitarian challenges & strengthen resilience of communities.

Keep up Amman Clean

This solution was developed by Jordan National Red Crescent Society, which addresses an important and relevant challenge in Jordan. With an inclusive approach involving social mobilization, education and awareness, and action on waste.

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Shelter insulation for Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon

This solution was developed by Qatar Red Crescent society, and could become a standard practice in temporary settlements. This proposal has been recognized as cost efficient, engages the refugee themselves, and replicable.

DIHAD is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – member of INDEX Holding and supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, International Humanitarian City, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai and Dubai Cares. DIHAD 2016 is also sponsored by Al Khair Foundation & IQRA TV.

 

March 21 2016

HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha Inaugurates DIHAD Conference & Exhibition

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Dubai, 21st of March, 2016: Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the 13th edition of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) was today inaugurated by HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha, Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Chairman of DIHAD Higher Committee, President of DISAB, on behalf of UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of International Humanitarian City HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha was accompanied by His Excellency Humaid Mohammed Obaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board of the Dubai Health Authority, H.E. Dr. Mohammaed Atiq Al Falahi, Secretary General of Emirates Red Crescent, H.E Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and Chair of the UN Development Group, HE Khalifa Hassan Aldrai, Executive Director, Dubai Corporation Ambulance Services​​​, and a number of ambassadors, local and international dignitaries. The theme for this year’s conference is “The Importance of Innovation in Humanitarian Aid & Development”.

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DIHAD conference this year will discuss innovative solutions that must be applied in humanitarian operations today, thereby looking inter alia at food security, nutrition, water and sanitation, emergency healthcare, transport, logistics and shelter. The conference will discuss the finite resources available to respond to these pressing crises, and the unprecedented pressures facing those in charge of responding to crises and emergencies in the world.

HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha addressed an audience of international organizations and associations as well as several top notch leaders and speakers in the field, in his speech delivered on behalf of UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of International Humanitarian City HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum saying: “The 13th edition of DIHAD will be under the theme: “The Importance Of Innovation In Humanitarian Aid and Development”, which goes in line with the vision and directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai a global hub for innovation in all sectors and to spread happiness in the UAE and the world.”

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He continued on saying: “It is no secret that the UAE is always keen to respond instantly to humanitarian crises and disasters that happen in all over the world, and it strives to help those in need and to alleviate the suffering of victims, refugees and the displaced, which follows the guidelines of our leadership and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.”

In a speech delivered by H.E. Dr. Mohammed Atiq Al Falahi, Secretary General of Emirates Red Crescent, speaking on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Representative of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in the Western Region and President of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, he said: “The importance of this edition of DIHAD lies in discussing the pressing issues related to innovation and its importance in enhancing the relief and development efforts to meet the humanitarian challenges that lie ahead especially asylum-seekers, migration, and climate change, and most of all finding appropriate solutions for all those issues.”

He continued on saying: “From our point of view, innovation represents a forward-looking vision for the future of the humanitarian work on the long run, aimed at ensuring a decent life for the victims of conflicts and disasters. Certainly, innovation will have a positive impact on the humanitarian efforts via planning for the future using innovative and unconventional tools that harness science, knowledge, and technology to serve humans and achieve maximum happiness and well-being.”

He concluded: “What we see today on the humanitarian front, especially in the Arab region, from humanitarian tragedies that exceed all expectations, puts us in front of great challenges that need to be faced through constructive cooperation and concentrated efforts to reduce the human losses caused by the conflicts and severity of disasters.”

“As humanitarian and development actors alike, we must rethink how we collaborate in response to the  increasing number of protracted conflicts which the world is currently witnessing,” UNDP Administrator and Chair of the UN Development Group, Helen Clark said.

“Traditional relief first, development later approaches are not tenable in the kinds of complex and protracted crises we face today. That is why UNDP has championed resilience-based development approaches to dealing with protracted crises, like that which Syria and neighboring countries are experiencing,” She added.

As part of the program, HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha toured the exhibition area accompanied by a number of key leaders in humanitarian field, visiting the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the UAE Red Crescent Society, the Tkiyet Umm Ali, the International Humanitarian City (IHC), Dubai Cares, Dubai Police, the Al Jalila Foundation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation (MOFA), King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Centre, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority, to name just a few.

Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Executive Chairman of DIHAD Conference and Exhibition and the international scientific committee DISAB welcomed all humanitarians taking part of DIHAD this year, and said: “It gives me immense pleasure and honor to see you all here gathering in Dubai for one purpose and one goal. It is really a pleasure to have this big number of attendees and participants who mark their calendars every year to be part of this international event and strive to make a change and create a better life for people and nations suffering from crisis, catastrophes and wars.”

Dr. Al Madani continued: “DIHAD now occupies a distinctive position on the world map, and with every success we achieve, the responsibility becomes bigger and bigger. Through the years we took the lead to embrace all international organizations, associations, institutes and NGOs and encouraged them to cooperate and build partnerships in addition to join their efforts for the benefit of the people who are going through crisis and catastrophes.”

Dr. Al Madani also reiterated on the role of media and social media in creating a change and innovation for the humanitarian field. He also referred to the 10 years plan that DISAB members are working on for DIHAD. He said in that regard: “Today we are celebrating the inauguration of the thirteenth edition of DIHAD conference and exhibition. DIHAD adopts a 10 years plan that includes goals to expand our activities and conference agenda every decade. This year the turnout for DIHAD workshops was outstanding, they attracted lots of humanitarians, decision makers and key participants from all parts of the world, the theme was timely and attracted the attention of many organisations. Our plan is to attract more participants and associations every year and create change for those who need it.”

Amin Awad, UNHCR’s MENA Director said: “DIHAD’s theme for this year is a reflection of the leadership and commitment of the United Arab Emirates’ leadership to fostering a culture of innovation, particularly in humanitarianism. This commitment is aligned with UNHCR’s emphasis on finding new and ground-breaking responses to refugee crises in the Middle East and North Africa, and globally.”

DIHAD is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – member of INDEX Holding and supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, International Humanitarian City, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai and Dubai Cares. DIHAD 2016 is also sponsored by Al Khair Foundation & IQRA TV.

 

 

March 26 2014

Largest Humanitarian Event in the ME, DIHAD 2015 Concludes Today

HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi: “DIHAD 2015 has become a global platform for specialists and decision makers in the relief and humanitarian field.”

HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development in the UAE visited DIHAD in its last day; she praised the steady growth of the event, which is evident in the increase of the number of participating companies from more than 60 countries, and the increased percentage in the exhibition size which has reached to 20% compared to the previous year.

HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi congratulated the organizing company, INDEX Conferences & Exhibitions, for their continued efforts in improving DIHAD and their commitment to represent the UAE in the best manner through their cooperation with public and government institutions specialized in the humanitarian field.

HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi added: “DIHAD 2015 had succeeded in putting the UAE on the world map, in which it had become a global platform for specialists and decision makers in the relief and humanitarian field from the governmental and non-governmental institutions.”

The Dubai International Humanitarian and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) had concluded its three days agenda today at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. DIHAD in its 12th edition proved to be the largest humanitarian event in the Middle East, as it attracted world’s key decision makers, procurement and logistics officials, NGOs, UN Agencies, Governmental departments and international associations, in addition to the humanitarian individuals, researchers and academics who came from across the world to benefit from the conference and the interactive sessions held during DIHAD.

Prominent names of Arab and international humanitarian executives and decision makers attended DIHAD and were pleased with the conclusions and agreements that were brought up during this three days conference & exhibition.

The third day’s agenda included important topics that rotated around the role of NGOs in the provision of humanitarian assistance in today’s crises environments, and the role of NGOs as partners in the development assistance. The conference also hosted special presentations on IHC Strategy for 2015 – 2021, updates on Ebola, updates on the Gaza crises, and untold stories about uncommon bonds and co-creation in the development sector.

On the side-lines of DIHAD Conference and Exhibition and International Emergency & Catastrophe Conference and Exhibition, a gala dinner was held at the Grand Hyatt for the distribution of awards in the presence of VIPs in the sector of relief and development. These awards are considered a token of appreciation for the efforts of workers in this field. Awards were given to UAE Red Crescent Authority, Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, Dubai Police – Government of Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, International Humanitarian City, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai and Dubai Cares, Ministry of International Cooperation & Development, Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department, Al Khair Foundation and many more.

DIHAD is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – member of INDEX Holding and supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, International Humanitarian City, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai and Dubai Cares. DIHAD 2015 is also sponsored by Al Khair Foundation & IQRA TV.

March 25 2014

HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai visited the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD 2015) accompanied by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, President of Arab Thought Forum and Chairman West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute, HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and a number of local and international dignitaries.

In addition to the honorable visit of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to DIHAD, the second day has witnessed a huge participation of key international humanitarians and important figures from several humanitarian associations, whom highlighted different topics related to the conference’s theme “Opportunity, Mobility, Sustainability: The Humanitarian Aid & Development Perspectives.”

Commenting on the importance of international cooperation to decrease the impact of disasters, HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development in the UAE said during a speech at DIHAD Conference: “The Syrian crisis has been declared the biggest humanitarian crisis in United Nations history. Opportunity does exist to end the Syrian crisis in due time; however the global community will need to mobilise our resources and our capabilities in order to achieve this end. Further afield, the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic, which caught the international community by surprise, has spread to three countries in West Africa and poses a serious threat, not just to the region or the continent, but to the world at large.”

HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi continued on saying: “Increased mobilisation of resources around early warning for disaster reduction and preparedness strategies will allow us to respond more effectively to future outbreaks. Mobility as a theme serves as a fitting mantra for the humanitarian and development communities. Whether actors are mobilizing funding resources, or mobilizing disaster reduction and preparedness strategies; this is an area in which we can and should always be improving. Let us collectively mobilize for increased impact of our aid.”

From his side, H.E. Mr. Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crises Management commented on his participation in DIHAD Conference and Exhibition this year saying: “I was keen to attend DIHAD this year to further enhance Europe’s cooperation with the Arab donors and humanitarian actors, by building a strong relationship of trust going forward. It is an opportunity to meet some of the key players in this field, and to exchange ideas with them on how to meet the global challenges, which affect us all.”

H.E. Mr. Christos Stylianides added: “Shared values of solidarity and compassion are the essence of the humanity that unites the global aid community. We must invest in diversified partnerships that bring together all actors in the humanitarian landscape; donors from East and West, affected communities, diasporas, charities, foundations, and the private sector.”

The conference agenda of the second day included various topics such as Moving Relief Items efficiently when and where it is required, Causes and Consequences of the Forced Displacement of Persons, Sustainable Development after 2015, Sustainability of Water and Energy. The conference has also touched upon the topic of Opportunities in Environmental Protection & Climate Change and many more. The session on Environmental Protection & Climate Change was headed by HH Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Ali Al Nuaimi, Environmental Advisor to the Ajman Government who has expressed his happiness in being part of this session that is of great importance due to the drastic climate change that the world is witnessing.

HH Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Ali Al Nuaimi said: “I am delighted to be among you today in this event, which is considered an honorable one to the Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the world in all. During my session at DIHAD, we had discussed a number of issues and presented several research papers that highlighted the importance of reducing pollution and finding alternatives that would lessen the risk arising from environmental pollution and climate change. We have come up with a number of solutions, which included the promotion of initiatives to support the public sector and stimulate better environmental practices and the use of clean technologies, including renewable energy at the lowest cost and most importantly changing the behavior of individuals and replacing the bad habits with better ones. ”

UNHCR signs for 10,000 flat-pack shelters

The unique collaboration between IKEA Foundation and UNHCR has resulted in a new, safer, innovative and more durable shelter for refugee families around the world. UNHCR has made a frame agreement of 10,000 units with the social enterprise Better Shelter.

With a safe and functional temporary shelter delivered in flat packs, Better Shelter together with UNHCR and the IKEA Foundation wants to bring dignity and safety to the millions of refugees fleeing violence, conflict, persecution and natural disasters. This unique partnership has introduced an innovative approach to designing for refugees and putting their needs at the heart of the development process. In a groundbreaking example of democratic design (form, function, quality, sustainability and an affordable price), the prototype has been tested and improved by 40 refugee families in Iraq and Ethiopia. Their experiences and needs have been at the heart of the development process. Following the field testing the shelter design has been iterated and is now being scaled to production.

The Better Shelter is a temporary shelter designed with special attention to transport volume, weight, price, safety, health and comfort. It can be assembled on site without additional tools and equipment with a solar panel and lamp to provide light during the dark hours. The expected lifespan of the shelter is three years. Production of shelters is about to begin and in the summer of 2015 UNHCR will start providing the shelter to thousands of families in refugee camps.

“Better Shelter will supply 10,000 units to UNHCR in 2015 for use by UNHCR operations globally and that is just the beginning. We will continue to develop the Better Shelter and also other solutions to benefit the many displaced people. Innovation is our strongest driving force”, says Johan Karlsson, Head of Business Development, at Better Shelter.

“The RHU is an exciting new development in humanitarian shelter and represents a much needed addition to the palette of sheltering options mobilised to assist those in need. Its deployment will ensure dramatic improvement to the lives of many people affected by crises”, says Shaun Scales, Chief of Shelter and Settlement, at UNHCR.

“Putting refugee families and their needs at the heart of this project is a great example of how democratic design can be used for humanitarian value.  We are incredibly proud that the Better Shelter is now available, so refugee families and children can have a safer place to call home”, says Jonathan Spampinato, Head of Strategic Planning and Communications IKEA Foundation.

Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation receives financial support of AED 7.8 million for the educational program of the Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation

Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation received financial support estimated AED 7.8 Million from Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation to support higher education university students. The collaboration between both organisations reflects their vision in putting education in their top priorities. The result of this collaboration will support 2650 students in higher education of low-income and economic cases by providing them with 1,250 computers and 1400 iPad devices.

HE Mohammed Haji Al Khouri, Director-General of the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation thanked HE Abdul Razak Abdullah, Chief Executive of Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation for their continuous support. He stressed that the contribution of the Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation to support educational initiative will have a significant impact in helping university students to overcome some of the economic barriers that often prevent them from continuing their education in an atmosphere of psychological stability. He pointed out that the number of schools and university students who benefited from the support of the institution over the past years reached more than 160 thousand students across the country.

From his side, HE Abdul Razak Abdullah, CEO of Dubai Islamic Humanitarian Foundation said: “Our support comes in the framework of our cooperation, coordination, and community partnership vision between charitable and humanitarian associations, particularly the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation due to its dynamic role in implementing various projects that benefit students.”

DIHAD is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – member of INDEX Holding and supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, International Humanitarian City, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai and Dubai Cares. DIHAD 2015 is also sponsored by Al Khair Foundation & IQRA TV.

March 24 2014

12TH Edition of Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition opens today

Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the 12th edition of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) was today inaugurated today by UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of International Humanitarian City HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The theme for this year’s conference was Opportunity, Mobility, Sustainability: The Humanitarian Aid & Development Perspectives.

In attendance and accompanying HRH Princess Haya were HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, President, Arab Thought Forum and Chairman West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute, HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development in the UAE, HE Dr. Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouie, on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s representative in the Western Region and Chief of the Red Crescent Authority, HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha, Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Chairman of DIHAD Higher Committee, President of DISAB, HE Mr. Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as well as a number of local and international dignitaries.

HRH Princess Haya addressed an audience of international organizations and associations as well as several key international leaders in the field. “With regards to ‘opportunity’, societies create economic opportunities through a combination of education, health and social services, encouragement of innovation, and tax regulatory regimes that foster growth rather than frustrate it,” said HRH Princess Haya. “This is what has been done in the UAE – we provide an atmosphere that creates opportunities for individuals, corporations and other entities.”

“The first obstacles to opportunity for families in developing countries are malnutrition and the poor health that accompanies it,” continued HRH Princess Haya. “A seriously malnourished child will never grow to have the mental and physical capacity to succeed. Nutritionists tell us that the first 1000 days are critical – if a child is badly malnourished then the game is over before it has begun.”

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, also a speaker at this year’s conference, said the region is facing an existential humanitarian crisis. “Refugees should not be thought of as just another digit,” said HRH Prince Hassan. “We need investment in resilience and investment in a knowledge base to ensure the region’s long-term sustainability.” HRH Prince Hassan called on the DIHAD attendees to place human dignity at the centre of their efforts to wage peace, and concluded by asking all attendees to consider issuing an appeal to help those most in need. “We need to swim upstream, against the tide.  It shouldn’t be about national or sovereign concerns, but about shared human concerns,” He said.

HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, stated in her speech: “The UAE is aiming to achieve improved impact of our foreign aid by developing our foreign aid policy and strategy. The policy and strategy will aim to accomplish a number of objectives, principally to regularize UAE foreign aid, so that our forward expenditures will be consistent, reliable and effective; thus giving the opportunity for each dirham of UAE aid to achieve its maximum impact. Put simply, the more effective our aid becomes, the more lives are saved and improved.”

HE Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi added: “Innovation is the key to finding solutions to the most complex aid situations. In the spirit of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, it is my pleasure to be here today and encourage all participants to approach the conference with open minds and creative lenses in order to come up with innovative, collaborative ideas for tackling today’s most pressing humanitarian and development situations.”

In a speech delivered by HE Dr. Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouie speaking on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Representative of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in the Western Region and President of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, he said: “We are counting on the growth of global social awareness about the environmental hazards, the inevitability of sustainable development, and the need to adopt to the principle of social responsibility in order to achieve a balance in the community. This is given that all members of the society, no matter how different they are, they all face the same risks and the same fate. We count on all of that to achieve a significant progress in building a better future for our children, to contribute to the march of human civilization, to promote promising opportunities for humanity, and to serve their crucial issues.”

HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha praised, in his speech, the efforts made by the UAE through participating in humanitarian projects and providing a helping hand in order to alleviate the suffering of the tormented and displaced refugees. HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha said: “The United Arab Emirates had achieved a special position among the list of worldwide countries that provide the maximum donations, and that is through extended aid, relief and humanitarian assistance projects provided by various organizations involved in this sector in the country. The city of Dubai has also become the capital of relief and humanitarian assistance activities. Yet, in spite of all these International humanitarian efforts, we are still in front of major challenges, in terms of natural disasters that hit much of the world, or the resulting disasters of conflicts and wars, which impose a great harm to communities. This requires us to unite and work together to alleviate the consequences of these harsh conditions caused by disasters, and that’s the goal behind our meeting in DIHAD.”

As part of the program, HRH Princess Haya toured the exhibition, visiting the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the UAE Red Crescent Society, the Tkiyet Umm Ali, the International Humanitarian City (IHC), Dubai Cares, Dubai Police, the Al Jalila Foundation, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, and the Ministry of International Cooperation and Development, booths, to name just a few

DIHAD’s topics for this year will revolve around the conference’s sub-themes: “Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability” discussing opportunities in disaster reduction and preparedness, environmental protection and climate change, the forced displacement of persons, causes and consequences, and the topic of sustainable development after 2015. The conference will provide a platform for discussions around improving partnerships, and will host special sessions about sustainability of water and energy, the role of NGOs in the provision of humanitarian assistance in today’s crisis environments, and the role of NGOs as partners in development assistance.

Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Executive Chairman of DIHAD and DISAB said: “For 12 consecutive years, DIHAD has been a focal point of attraction for all humanitarians from East and West, being an ideal platform for networking and a global umbrella to promote and improve the mechanisms of the humanitarian response to crises and disasters that arise in various parts of the world. DIHAD has consistently been at the forefront of topical humanitarian issues and, this year again, it will highlight a set of concerns now being universally recognized and increasingly addressed in a focused manner.”

Talking about the theme of the conference for this year, Dr. Al Madani also said: “Inspired by Dubai EXPO 2020, DIHAD Conference & Exhibition’s theme this year is, (Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability: The Humanitarian Aid & Development Perspectives). We have directed our best efforts to develop a powerful agenda that would assist the transformation towards a global aid community which is more culturally and politically inclusive, encourages dialogue and shares best practices across regions.”

“I would like to extend my gratitude to all those who have contributed to the success of this Elite event and encourage all participants to interact more effectively to attain a better future for our Nation and the World. DIHAD conference promotes discussion in order to source best methods and solutions through constructive interaction between specialized humanitarian bodies. DIHAD also encourages partnerships between humanitarian and development associations, while exhibitors at DIHAD exhibition display their latest humanitarian services and programs and offer direct supply by suppliers.” continued Dr. Al Madani

He also said: “More than 396 companies and humanitarian organizations specialized in supplying appropriate goods and services for disaster response operations, humanitarian aid projects and development programs are present in the exhibition this year. The overall event has witnessed a 20% increase than last year in terms of participation, size and activities, and this indicates the steady success achieved by DIHAD and highlights its value.”

DIHAD is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – member of INDEX Holding and supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est., the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, International Humanitarian City, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai and Dubai Cares. DIHAD is also sponsored by Al Khair Foundation & IQRA TV.