October 3, 2023
News & Press Releases
12,000+ Attendees, 110 Countries, 828 NGOs, Charities, CSR & Foundations, Aid and Relief Brands, 700+ B2B Meetings, 82 Buyers, 50 Speakers, 16 Innovation Workshops, 6 Key Sessions
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Media Incorporated, the 19th edition of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD 2023) concluded its 19th edition under the theme: “Energy and Aid, Capitalizing on Available Resources.” More than 828 leading local and international humanitarian NGOs, charities, aid suppliers, and many more gathered at the Dubai World Trade Centre for three days to discuss solutions for critical humanitarian issues.
DIHAD 2023 witnessed a record attendance that exceeded 12,000 visitors from 110 countries, and 50 speakers of the world’s most elite humanitarian professionals to discuss vital topics during six key sessions, in addition to 16 innovative workshops that provided training and examined many important views and solutions in the field of energy and aid.
HE Dr. Hamad Al Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, Director General, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, stated:
“This year’s DIHAD Conference and Exhibition aims to shed light on the issue of energy and aid for international relief, as well as the situation of supply chains and logistics in the humanitarian field. We will discuss the challenges of these issues at the conference, in addition to exploring how to benefit from the available resources at all levels to provide the necessary solutions.”
HE Amb. Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Roving Ambassador for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean for the GCC, Chairman of DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Foundation and Chairman of INDEX Holding stated:
“DIHAD reflects the UAE’s commitment to supporting humanitarian missions around the world. Through international collaboration, we seek to support humanity in maintaining sustainable economies and livelihoods. This year’s edition is set to highlight the importance of energy and aid.”
HE Amb. Gerhard Putman-Cramer, CEO, DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Foundation, commented:
“We are set to focus on and outline the essential facts and figures around energy and aid: why energy is an essential pre-requisite to both our “saving lives and livelihoods” mission and our pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, we are ready to review key challenges to our agreed norms and principles, as well as to our field-based operations.”
HE Dr. Hamdan Al Mazrouie, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Red Crescent, said in his speech:
“Our humanitarian and moral commitment to the victims of disasters puts us in the face of great challenges and responsibilities to end the suffering of humanity. We value and support this edition of DIHAD, for we can discuss fundamental issues through this platform related to energy and aid, and how we can benefit from available resources.”
HE Michael Koehler, Director-General, European Commission’s Department for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, explained in his speech how DIHAD 2023 is taking place at a time when many people across the world face dire living conditions.
“103 million persons today are living in displacement. 2023 will set another record high of humanitarian needs, with 339 million people in need of assistance and protection. The UN estimates that $51.5 billion will be needed to meet the needs of the 230 million people most in need.”
Another key speech during the opening was delivered by Ramesh Rajasingham, who spoke on behalf of HE Mr. Martin Griffiths, UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. He praised the efforts of the UAE for its steadfast commitment to serving people in need and contributing more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance in the past three years alone.
After discussing the recent devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, Rajasingham stated:
“Never before has the global humanitarian system been stretched so thin. Events like DIHAD can help amplify the ideas of some of the world’s leading aid practitioners. Together, we are seeking new ways to drive innovation in our global humanitarian responses.”
DIHAD 2023 witnesses signing of relief and humanitarian agreements
DIHAD 2023 witnessed the signing of several Memorandum of Understanding, including an MoU between the DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Foundation and the Malaysian Consultative Council of Islamic Organisations “MAPIM” to create the required framework for cooperation in humanitarian projects.
Under the supervision of the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department, an MoU was also signed between Dubai Charity and Al Tadawi Specialty Hospital to accommodate the needs of people who cannot pay for their treatments.
The signing was attended by H.E. Dr. Hamad Al Sheikh Ahmed Al Shaibani, Director-General of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai; and Amb. Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Roving Ambassador for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean for the GCC, Chairman of DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Foundation and Chairman of INDEX Holding.
In addition, an MoU was signed by the International Congress for Health Specialties (ICHS) and Apollo Hospital to collaborate on humanitarian camps, empower medical and health professionals through different educational opportunities, and work together to progress the health field.
The second day’s sessions concentrated on several issues, and attendees discussed harnessing resources to guarantee high-quality healthcare and education.
During a session entitled “Mobilising resources for a better future,” H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Al Ghurair Foundation, emphasised the moral imperative to provide the youth with access to high-quality education, saying, “We must act now to ensure this generation does not lose opportunities”.
Al Ghurair added, “Today, the Abdul Aziz Refugee Education Fund has supported 62,000 refugees and vulnerable youth in the UAE, Jordan, and Lebanon through strategic partnerships with 20 organisations.”
H.E. Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), highlighted the challenges the humanitarian sector is facing in covering the needs of communities at risk as the world faces a protracted crisis of economic degradation, poverty, food insecurity, lack of access to essential services like healthcare, and more.
Prof. Yerlan Baidaulet, Director-General of the Islamic Organisation for Food Security (IOFS), discussed strategies for maintaining the humanitarian relief programmes for Afghanistan and ways to create a strong foundation and long-lasting partnership between nations to spread the message of peace.
In a session titled “The People’s Energy Transition,” H.E. Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), pointed out the risks of human inaction. She stated, “In the UAE, we are putting our foot to the floor and accelerating towards the energy transition. We are embracing the transition because we see it will make the world a more sustainable and secure place.”
In highlighting the UAE’s global efforts, she added: “The UAE has invested over USD 50 billion in clean energy projects in more than 70 countries across four continents.”
In another session discussing the importance of clean energy and caring for the planet, Barbara Hintermann, Director General of Terre des hommes in Lausanne, explained: “The new generation deserves our utmost efforts to repair and protect our planet. Hence, the topic of DIHAD is more relevant and urgent than ever.” She continued: “We must balance our programs between minimizing our carbon footprint to include the use of renewable and hybrid energy, and bringing meaningful response to people in need.”
DIHAD 2023 witnessed a distinguished presence in DIHAD Glasshouse, which provides a workspace in a creative climate, adopts the empowerment of young talents in the humanitarian field, and works to strengthen healthcare, education, and vocational empowerment in developing countries. Participants from the UAE, Italy, Bangladesh, Malawi, and South Sudan discussed modern technological humanitarian projects such preparing humanitarian and charitable exhibitions through the Metaverse technology, a non-profit bank venture to support emerging projects and charities, the establishment of a specialized platform for consultations and negotiations in humanitarian fields, and so much more.
DIHAD 2023 also featured an initiative that hosted several innovative workshops, where participants and exhibitors were able to present their campaigns, as well as innovative technologies and practices in the field of humanitarian relief and aid. The workshops were conducted by the UN Agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, Country Pavilions, Relief Aid Companies and many more. Notably, the Innovation Workshops were hosted in a refugee tent like the ones used in refugee camps in places of war and conflict, where they are utilized as medical centres, accommodation for refugees, and schools.
DIHAD brings together key decision-makers from leading NGOs, UN Agencies, charity organisations and governmental bodies, together with aid, education, and construction providers from the private sector to address the needs of people and countries affected by crises, disasters and natural calamities.
DIHAD 2023 was held in conjunction with the 14th edition of the International Emergency and Catastrophe Management Exhibition– IECM, which provides a platform for the emergency, disaster management and search and rescue community to showcase their equipment, technology and services during emergencies to a relevant audience.
DIHAD Conference and Exhibition is organised by INDEX Conference and Exhibitions Org. LLC., – a member of INDEX Holding and supported by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, the Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, the United Nations, and International Humanitarian City.
The commemorative 20th edition will be held on April 23-25, 2024 under the theme “DIHAD 2004-2024: Humanitarian Diplomacy and a Journey to the Future”