Dubai, UAE – February 23, 2024 – Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, President and CEO of the UAE Independent Climate Change Accelerators (UICCA), visited Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC), engaging with the IHC and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) teams, and emphasizing the crucial role of humanitarian work worldwide.

HE Abdulla AlShaibani, IHC Board Member, welcomed Her Highness Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, fostering a productive dialogue. Her Highness expressed deep concern and interest in refugee issues, recognizing both the challenges and impact they present for host countries while emphasizing the crucial role of innovation and partnerships in addressing urgent humanitarian needs.

Giuseppe Saba, IHC CEO, highlighted ongoing operations in Gaza and IHC’s pivotal role in responding to humanitarian crises globally.

Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR’s Senior Advisor and Representative to the GCC countries, highlighted the partnership with UAE and expressed appreciation for its support of UNHCR’s emergency humanitarian efforts, mainly through the UAE government and Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC).

He provided an overview of 2023, a year marked by multiple crises and increasing displacement trends that required a swift response to aid millions of people affected, from the earthquakes in Syria and Türkiye to the floods in Libya – amongst other protracted and new crises and conflicts. He elaborated that among the 53 emergency relief shipments mobilized globally, 28 originated from UNHCR’s stockpiles in Dubai, which is recognized as the largest in the world. Notably, the transportation expenses of ten of these shipments were generously covered by the UAE, underscoring its vital role and significant engagement in aiding forcibly displaced people.

The discussion encompassed the topic of climate change’s impact on refugee crises, underscoring the need for coordinated action. Her Highness then toured IHC’s permanent exhibition, exploring the Humanitarian Logistics Databank and gaining insights into plans for a global safety net.

HH Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan praised IHC’s collaborative spirit, echoing the vision of her grandfather, the UAE’s Founding Father, the late HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Her Highness commended IHC’s dedication, reaffirming the UAE’s commitment to global humanitarian causes.

The visit coincided with a joint workshop organized by UNHCR and IHC for the private sector and the local and international humanitarian community to gain deeper insights into humanitarian situations, focusing specifically on the response and solutions implemented in the field.