The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, visited last week the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai, where he was welcomed by IHC CEO, Giuseppe Saba, on behalf of the Supreme Committee for the supervision of IHC and the Board of Directors.

His Excellency Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of IHC, said: “Dubai’s International Humanitarian City is a key international player in delivering and facilitating global humanitarian assistance. Building on two decades of humanitarian emergency preparedness and response, the IHC will continue to share its expertise with relevant stakeholders to address global concerns and operate an effective and efficient flow of relief as the world’s largest humanitarian hub.”

During the visit, the Minister met with the United Nations Resident Coordinator for the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Dena Assaf, and representatives of prominent humanitarian organizations, members of IHC, including the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). He also toured IHC’s showroom and facilities.

IHC CEO Giuseppe Saba explained that 2022 was an exceptional year for IHC as the number of operations surpassed the previous years, reaching more than 130 countries. There has been a spike in demand for services out of Dubai from the international humanitarian community, given the outstanding coordination of response, the available infrastructure, and the quick mobilization of resources in times of emergency, in addition to the unparalleled continuous support from the UAE leadership, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

Minister Sajjan said: “In times of crisis, rapid delivery of basic supplies is essential. One of Canada’s emergency relief stockpiles of lifesaving necessities is located in Dubai and is maintained through a partnership with the Canadian Red Cross. Our stockpile in Dubai is a key element of Canada’s humanitarian response and ability to quickly address the needs of crisis-affected people on the globe.”

Founded in 2003, the IHC houses aid across its 140,000 sqm warehouses at a crossroads between the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and far East and South Asia, with assistance dispatched from the city reaching two-thirds of the world’s most vulnerable populations in about four hours.