18 August 2023: The international humanitarian community converged at Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC) today to observe World Humanitarian Day 2023. Held in an atmosphere charged with dedication and resolve, the gathering resonated with the theme of #NoMatterWhat, as declared by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Giuseppe Saba, CEO of IHC, stated: “Today, on World Humanitarian Day, we remember the 20th anniversary of the tragic attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad. This solemn occasion honours the 22 UN staff members who lost their lives, and the numerous aid workers who were injured. At Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, we also mark two decades of giving and proactive support for global humanitarian endeavours. We have evolved into a thriving hub of collaboration that facilitates impactful assistance to communities in dire need. Together, we reaffirm our commitment to compassion and progress, united in the mission to make a lasting difference.”
Dr. Dena Assaf, UN Resident Coordinator for the UAE, said: “Today we pay tribute to all those who continue to serve hundreds of millions of people in need around the world, no matter who, no matter where and no matter what. As the United Nations Resident Coordinator for the UAE, I have witnessed the remarkable power of collective action in responding to global crises. Together, we shape a future of hope, resilience, and empathy—a testament to our shared humanity. We express our gratitude to the International Humanitarian City (IHC) for fostering unity among humanitarians and facilitating the United Nations’ global relief efforts from the world’s largest humanitarian hub, located in Dubai, UAE. Additionally, we recognize the UAE’s generous support for hosting the United Nations at IHC and its unwavering commitment to humanitarian aid and emergency relief worldwide.”
Reflecting on the essence of the occasion, Mageed Yahia, WFP Representative to the GCC added: “World Humanitarian Day reminds us of the incredible dedication shown by humanitarian workers who persevere against all odds. The theme #NoMatterWhat embodies their commitment and guiding principles. From danger zones to disasters, these heroes ensure aid reaches the vulnerable despite the impeding circumstances they face every day. Rooted in humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, their efforts cross borders to aid those in need. Today, we remember and pay tribute to our WFP colleagues who recently lost their lives while on duty in Sudan and Yemen. Their sacrifices underscore the profound dedication of all humanitarian workers and the challenges they confront daily in their quest to make the world a better place.”
Clare Dalton, ICRC Head of Delegation in the UAE, emphasised the strength of community support during crises and everyday life: “The Red Cross Red Crescent movement, with millions of volunteers and professionals, aids those in need. Over the past decade, they’ve helped millions through disasters and conflicts. In 160 years, the movement has evolved to face new challenges, always dedicated to serving the vulnerable.”
World Humanitarian Day annually pays homage to the dedication and efforts of humanitarian workers who tirelessly extend aid and assistance to vulnerable populations across the globe, irrespective of challenges or adversities.
IHC, in consonance with its dedication to support the humanitarian work and awareness, invites the public to check out IHC’s activations located in Dubai Festival City (DFC) on Saturday, 19 August and at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) from Monday, 24 August onward.