Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai, the 17th edition of The Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition- DIHAD, kicks off next week from the 15th till the 17th of March 2021, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Running under the theme “Aid and Coronavirus, a Focus on Africa”, the 17th edition of DIHAD will discuss the most pressing topics, with a focus on Africa and the issues that arose with the emergence of the Coronavirus and other issues such as: The Impact of Conflicts and Humanitarian Crises, The Impact of Climate Change, Population Growth, Urbanization, Education and Employment, and many more.

Commenting on the occasion, Giuseppe Saba, CEO of International Humanitarian City in Dubai (IHC) said: “We are delighted to take an active part in the 17th Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference and Exhibition- DIHAD, especially this year when the world is facing challenging circumstances and for the second consecutive year, fighting against the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

He added: “DIHAD represents an opportunity for exchanging lessons learned and improving our preparedness for the most appropriate emergency response. IHC in Dubai is the largest humanitarian hub in the world and our community did extraordinary efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dubai’s excellent logistics infrastructure allows easy transit and transport of vaccines and collateral materials to developing countries and facilitates smooth efforts for the vaccination campaigns to continue to respond to the pandemic”.

He concluded: “We are proud of having partnered with Emirates ‘SkyCargo’, Dubai Airports, and DP World and launched all together with the “Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance” to speed up the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world through Dubai.”

From her side, Dr. Manal Taryam, Board Member and CEO Noor Dubai Foundation stated: “We look forward to the annual DIHAD event, which serves as an effective platform to interact with fellow humanitarian foundations in various fields. Noor Dubai Foundation continues to support the UN SDG goals through strategic partnerships and successful collaborations with state governments and NGOs with a goal to improve the economic wellbeing of the communities they serve through fighting visual impairment.”

She added: “This year, the Foundation signed partnerships to continue its work in the elimination of Trachoma in Ethiopia, in addition to a new prevention of blindness program in Bangladesh, while overcoming the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic across all humanitarian programs globally.”

From her side, H.E. Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, Assistant Secretary-General; Director, Regional Bureau for Africa, UNDP said: “In an era of reducing aid and the still - transmitting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, now, more than ever, the international community must be more purpose -driven in pivoting from delivering aid to ending need.  To succeed, we must activate the humanitarian – development nexus through joint design, financing and implementation approaches.  We must engage with Africa from the prism of its promise and use all tools at our disposal to accompany African governments, communities and people, in their efforts to harness the full potential of this land of unmatched opportunity.”

Running parallel to the conference, DIHAD features a rich exhibition, with an impressive participation from 600 of the world’s most prominent non-governmental organizations, humanitarian governmental associations, companies, suppliers and international brands. In addition, the 17th edition of DIHAD will bring together the biggest donors, concerned actors, and major UAE based charities and foundations like ‘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 ‘Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department’, the ‘Emirates Red Crescent Authority’, the ‘United Nations’, ‘Dubai Cares’ and ‘International Humanitarian City’, in addition to international bodies like ‘Red Crescent and Red Cross Movements’, NGOs, and other entities to further explore the most urgent needs of people facing huge humanitarian challenges in Africa and to benefit from their experiences and expertise in different fields. The exhibition will feature various activities and will host the France Pavilion and the UN Pavilion, in addition to several workshops.

In addition, the ‘International Humanitarian Hackathon’ final pitch day will be held during the event days. The eight qualified teams from Egypt, KSA, USA, and UAE will be presenting their creative ideas and solutions for solving the identified humanitarian challenges.

The importance of the ‘International Humanitarian Hackathon’ lies not only in the role it plays in bringing the world’s most brilliant minds together but also in utilizing the potential of youth and employing the latest technologies in finding solutions that can be implemented in real-life crisis zones. This is an initiative like no other, started here from the UAE, the land of possibilities, to serve humankind.

Commenting on their participation in ‘DIHAD’, Ms. Muna Al Kindi, Executive Director of MBRGI said: “The participation of ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives’ (MBRGI) in DIHAD comes to introduce the various initiatives and achievements of the organization, which have gained additional momentum in the current period in light of health and humanitarian challenges that the world is facing, noting that the Foundation, under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai, is going ahead with its plans to improve the quality of life and contribute to the happiness of communities, and supporting humanity in various fields.”

The 17th edition of DIHAD is sponsored by ‘King Abdullah Humanitarian Foundation’ (KAHF), ‘Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department’, ‘Pathfinder International’, and ‘Life for Relief & Development’, and is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions, a member of INDEX Holding.

Source: INDEX Media