H.E. Amb. Gerhard Putman-Cramer
Chief Executive Officer,
DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Foundation
As the year 2022 progresses, it is increasingly obvious that climate change, conflicts and natural or man-made disasters are all coming together to produce a massive and persistent energy crunch. A number of energy sources are being limited in output, while others may well be made inaccessible, whereas demand steadily grows. Potentially alternative energy producers are hesitant to fill the growing gaps in supply, this being linked to profits and politics and, in some cases, to climate-related concerns. While eventually there will be re-adjustments and a variety of mitigating measures put in place for those countries and populations able to conceive and afford them, the populations in need of humanitarian aid and development assistance will undoubtedly suffer. It is with this concern in mind that the DIHAD Foundation Board has decided to have as the theme of DIHAD 2023: “Energy and Aid; capitalising on available resources.”
In an attempt to review the impact of the above-mentioned “crunch” from several specific perspectives, detailing the relative energy dependency of different sectors and proposing strategies to ensure the necessary continued provision of aid irrespective of shortfalls, the Conference will address the following topics:
- “The impact of rapidly changing sources and costs of energy on humanitarian aid and development”;
- “Supply chains and food security”;
- “Harnessing resources 1/ in pursuit of global health and wellbeing; 2/ for inclusive, equitable quality education; 3/ to assist the growing numbers of people on the move”; and
- “Caring for the planet; the role of new technologies”.
During our three-day Conference and inspired by our most distinguished Opening and Keynote Speakers, we will focus on and outline the essential facts and figures around energy and aid: why energy is an essential pre-requisite to both our collective “saving lives and livelihoods” mission and our pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover and in this context, we will review key challenges to our agreed norms and principles, as well as to our field-based operations, if and when the energy crisis bites deeper. The idea is to make the necessary analyses, to plan accordingly and to be better prepared.
We will undoubtedly have to adapt our strategies and methodologies, be it in disaster response, in emergency management, in consolidated appeals or in country programming. In this context we will of course bear in mind the climate change agenda, duly looking at the role of innovation and the optimal use of new technologies. At DIHAD 2023 we will once again gather friends and colleagues from national government authorities, international and non-governmental organisations, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, foundations and charities, academic institutions, the media and the private sector. As in previous editions of the Conference, we will attempt to come up with a number of actionable agreed conclusions and recommendations. On behalf of the Advisory Board of the DIHAD Foundation, I am very pleased to invite you to attend the event’s 19th edition. We much look forward to welcoming you and to thank, on that occasion, all who actively contribute to the acknowledged success of the Conference, the pre-Conference Workshop and the Exhibition.
We will also seize the opportunity to provide participants with an update on the DIHAD Foundation’s recently initiated additional activities. Each edition of the unique annual DIHAD 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 different aspects of our collective humanitarian aid and development endeavours. Moreover, the selected theme and related presentations, as well as the interaction that takes place both at the event and in the margins thereof, continue to enhance the knowledge that humanitarian and development actors have about each other, thereby ensuring greater understanding and clarity in regard to respective roles, capacities and mandates and further reinforcing the notion of effective coordinated action.
DIHAD 2023 promises to be, yet again, a landmark event!