DIHAD Emphasizes Relief and Development Efforts to Meet Humanitarian Challenges
DUBAI, Mar 21 2016 (IPS) – The Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) opened today with key speakers emphasizing the urgency to discuss innovative solutions to be applied in humanitarian operations. Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai, the 13th edition of DIHAD was inaugurated by HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha, Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Chairman of DIHAD Higher Committee, President of DISAB, on behalf of UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of International Humanitarian City HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Attended by a large number of international organizations and associations, the DIHAD conference is another big step toward realizing the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai a global hub for innovation in all sectors. HE Ibrahim Bumelha in his address emphasized “It is no secret that the UAE is always keen to respond instantly to humanitarian crises and disasters that happen in all over the world, and it strives to help those in need and to alleviate the suffering of victims, refugees and the displaced, which follows the guidelines of our leadership and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.” He added that “The importance of this edition of DIHAD lies in discussing the pressing issues related to innovation and its importance in enhancing the relief and development efforts to meet the humanitarian challenges that lie ahead especially asylum-seekers, migration, and climate change, and most of all finding appropriate solutions for all these issues.”
“From our point of view, innovation represents a forward-looking vision for the future of the humanitarian work on the long run, aimed at ensuring a decent life for the victims of conflicts and disasters. Certainly, innovation will have a positive impact on the humanitarian efforts via planning for the future using innovative and unconventional tools that harness science, knowledge, and technology to serve humans and achieve maximum happiness and well-being,” stated Dr. Mohammaed Atiq Al Falahi, Secretary General of Emirates Red Crescent, on behalf of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Representative of the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in the Western Region and President of the UAE Red Crescent Authority. He concluded “What we see today on the humanitarian front, especially in the Arab region, from humanitarian tragedies that exceed all expectations, puts us in front of great challenges that need to be faced through constructive cooperation and concentrated efforts to reduce the human losses caused by the conflicts and severity of disasters.”
Ms Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Chair of the UN Development Group, who also addressed the opening session of DIHAD, emphasized that “As humanitarian and development actors alike, we must rethink how we collaborate in response to the increasing number of protracted conflicts which the world is currently witnessing.” She added: “Traditional relief first, development later approaches are not tenable in the kinds of complex and protracted crises we face today. That is why UNDP has championed resilience-based development approaches to dealing with protracted crises, like that which Syria and neighboring countries are experiencing.”
Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Executive Chairman of DIHAD Conference and Exhibition and the international scientific committee DISAB welcomed all humanitarians taking part this year, and said: “DIHAD now occupies a distinctive position on the world map, and with every success we achieve, the responsibility becomes bigger and bigger. Through the years we took the lead to embrace all international organizations, associations, institutes and NGOs and encouraged them to cooperate and build partnerships in addition to join their efforts for the benefit of the people who are going through crisis and catastrophes.”
Finally, Amin Awad, Middle East and North Africa Director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said: “DIHAD’s theme for this year is a reflection of the leadership and commitment of the United Arab Emirates’ leadership to fostering a culture of innovation, particularly in humanitarianism. This commitment is aligned with UNHCR’s emphasis on finding new and ground-breaking responses to refugee crises in the Middle East and North Africa, and globally.”
DIHAD is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – member of INDEX Holding and supported by Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, International Humanitarian City, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai and Dubai Cares. DIHAD 2016 is also sponsored by Al Khair Foundation & IQRA TV.