March 15, 2021
News & Press Releases
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Hessa Bint Essa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, officially inaugurated today the 17th edition of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, accompanied by several officials and prominent figures in the humanitarian field.
Held under the theme “Aid and Coronavirus, a Focus on Africa”, the three-day premier humanitarian gathering in Dubai is highlighting the current calamities facing the continent of Africa, and exploring ways to address and resolve them.
The opening ceremony began with a speech by Saeed Al Eter, Chairman of the UAE Government Media Office, and Deputy Secretary-General of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives.
Following, Rashid Mubarak Al Mansouri, Adviser of Local Aid, speaking on behalf of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), said, “DIHAD is an excellent opportunity to draw the features of the future vision of our joint relief and humanitarian efforts, and to put a new imprint on the humanitarian path followed by the UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”
Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed said, “The UAE realised early on its duty towards the different countries of the world that face great challenges due to the outbreak of the pandemic, and strengthened its humanitarian response to it. Since the emergence of the crisis, it has provided medical aid and preventive supplies to 134 countries around the world, from which 1.8 million medical personnel on the front lines have benefited. This aid of 1,789 tonnes of medical supplies has helped dozens of African countries receive the lion’s share of this aid.”
Hamad Al Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, Director-General of the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) – Dubai, said, “the UAE has become a humanitarian hub that attracts individuals from across the world, as we can see today in our meeting during the inauguration of the 17th edition of DIHAD, under the theme “Aid and Coronavirus, a Focus on Africa.”
IACAD announced the signing of an agreement with Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, embodying the country’s most important strategic priorities in investing in research and medical sciences and establish a solid foundation in the field of supporting and exploring scientific research.
Delivering his speech virtually, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored that our fate as a global community is intertwined, and our collective resilience is only as strong as the weakest among us. Overstretched health systems, coupled with political instability and a lack of security, allowing infectious diseases to thrive. In Africa, we have seen the impact of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases such as the resurgence of Polio and Measles and the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but we also know that with strong leadership, strong health systems, a strong health workforce, disease outbreaks can be controlled effectively.”
“The rapid development of vaccines for COVID-19 has also brought the world a much-needed source of hope. But vaccines are a tool, and what matters is how we use them. The fastest way to end this pandemic is by suppressing the virus everywhere, at the same time. The more opportunity the virus has to spread anywhere, the more opportunity it has to change in ways that could make vaccines less effective,” he added.
The opening ceremony also included speeches from Sergio Piazzi, Secretary-General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean, and Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management.
Following the opening ceremony, Hessa Buhumaid, accompanied by a high level delegation of senior dignitaries and figures, toured the exhibition area which covers an area of 3,538 square meters and visited a number of stands for local and international humanitarian organisations, NGO’s and charitable foundations, as well as the biggest international brands and establishments from all across the globe.
Running parallel to the conference, the exhibition is featuring over 600 exhibitors showcasing their latest projects and services. Moreover, the exhibition is playing host to 14 ‘Innovation Workshops’ spread over 3-days inside the exhibition area. In addition, the exhibition area features the French pavilion and the United Nations pavilion.
DIHAD is organised annually by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding with the support of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, the Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the Emirates Red Crescent, the United Nations, Dubai Cares and International Humanitarian City. The event is sponsored by King Abdullah Humanitarian Foundation (KAHF), Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department, Pathfinder International, and Life for Relief & Development.
Source: Government of Dubai Media Office