March 1, 2021
News & Press Releases
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the 17th edition of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition- DIHAD, the leading humanitarian gathering in the region, will be held from the 15th to the 17th of March 2021, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Held under the theme ‘Aid and Coronavirus, a focus on Africa’, DIHAD 2021 will highlight the critical challenges facing people in Africa as it is impacted by the Coronavirus while also addressing the needs of humanitarian aid workers contributing constructively to a more effective global approach towards and within the continent in question.
In its 17th edition, DIHAD will present a rich and comprehensive agenda and is expected to attract over 6,000 visitors and participants from over 84 countries.
Furthermore, the conference features the presence of 50 world-renowned experts from the humanitarian sector, who will address various major topics duly focusing on Africa as it is impacted by the Coronavirus: ongoing conflicts and humanitarian crises; climate change; population growth, education and employment; aid flows and economic growth; food crisis, gender and resilience; exacerbated health challenges and, as a Special Session, the shaping of African Futures beyond COVID-19.
Some of the most prominent figures in the field will deliver keynote speeches during the event, including His Excellency Saeed Mohammad Al Eter, Chairman of UAE Government Media Office, Deputy Secretary General of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives; His Excellency Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, His Excellency Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, His Excellency Dr. Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Red Crescent and Her Excellency Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
While commenting on the occasion, His Excellency Ambassador Gerhard J.W. Putman-Cramer, Director of DIHAD’s International Scientific Advisory Board – DISAB, said: “Given the number and severity of Africa’s current challenges, some seriously aggravated by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Conference’s International Scientific Advisory Board decided to have the 17th edition of DIHAD highlight selected areas of concern and review the Aid that is brought to bear in attempts to address these. The Aid being provided should, besides meeting the most pressing needs, effectively complement national endeavors to capitalise on the continent’s recognised wealth in terms of resources and potential.”
He added: “We have included a vast array of partners in the discussions that are to take place at the event, these including donors and recipients, aid practitioners and those evaluating the impact of aid, governments, international organisations, specialised agencies, NGOs, the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement, academics and the private sector. While best practices will be duly identified and recognised, we believe that a number of constructive recommendations will result from our exchanges and that these, once implemented, will indeed have a positive impact.”
Furthermore, DIHAD has conducted a series of webinars in collaboration with Waterfalls Initiative for Continuous Education, amounting to 18 webinars as of February of this year, which have been exceptionally well-received, with an outstanding 7618 viewers from 112 participating countries. The webinars were held with the participation of leading organisations, such as the European Union, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, United Nations, International Humanitarian City, and Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Commenting on this year’s edition of DIHAD, His Excellency Ambassador Andrea Matteo Fontana, Head of the EU Delegation to the UAE said: “I look forward to the upcoming DIHAD. Africa is a key partner for the European Union in building the world we want to live in – whether on green transition, fair digitalisation, human development, or trade. The new COVID-19 reality makes this partnership all the more important. The theme of this year’s DIHAD ‘Aid and Coronavirus: a focus on Africa’ is thus highly relevant for the European Union. This is also reflected in our level of participation. For the first time, we will be represented by two European Commissioners: European Commissioner For Crisis Management, His Excellency Janez Lenarčič, who will join the official opening of the conference and European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Her Excellency Jutta Urpilainen, who will present her keynote address titled “A Renewed EU-Africa Partnership: A Geopolitical Priority”. At the DIHAD Exhibition, participants will have the opportunity to visit our stand to learn more about the way the European Union puts people and planet first to create a better tomorrow in Africa and around the world.”
He added: “Over the past months, the DIHAD webinar series has provided invaluable opportunities to have ‘global conversations’ with experts and policymakers around the complex challenges that the pandemic has unveiled and discuss the solutions at hand. During the first of these webinars, I had the opportunity to outline the European Union’s Global Response to COVID-19 and our Team Europe Approach, which combines the assets of European institutions and Member States in delivering a robust response to the challenges raised by the pandemic. Six months down the line, 50% of the €38.5 billion Team Europe global recovery package has already been disbursed.”
He concluded: “I look forward to continuing these conversations with all the distinguished panelists and participants that will be present at DIHAD in March.”
Mr. Khaled Khalifa, Senior Advisor, Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) commented saying: “It is a pleasure to participate and speak at the 17th edition of DIHAD and discuss the role of Islamic Philanthropy in supporting refugees during the pandemic. This year’s theme ‘Aid and Coronavirus, a focus on Africa’ is very timely and important as UNHCR strives to help refugees meet their needs under unprecedented circumstances impacting public health, poverty levels, protection, and livelihoods. We thank DIHAD and Waterfalls Initiative for Continuous Education for this unique opportunity of enlightenment and knowledge sharing.”
Running parallel to the conference, the DIHAD Exhibition will gather over 600 Relief item brands who will showcase their latest products and services, breakthrough innovations while also giving them a chance to engage in productive collaborations and expand their businesses in the region.
On the sidelines of the exhibition, more than 60 Buyers coming from the leading UN Agencies, Foundations and Charities from different parts of the world will host B2B meetings with the aim of building collaborations and exploring business opportunities.
DIHAD is organized annually by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding, the event is supported by 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 UAE Red Crescent Authority, the United Nations, Dubai Cares and International Humanitarian City. The 2021 edition is sponsored by King Abdullah Humanitarian Foundation (KAHF), Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department, Pathfinder International and Life for Relief & Development.