Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) 2010 was inaugurated today by UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of the International Humanitarian City HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Princess Haya, who was accompanied by HE Ibrahim Bumelha, Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est. and Chairman of the Higher Committee DIHAD, President of DISAB, and HE Ahmed Humaid Al Mazroui, Chairman of the UAE Red Crescent Authority and a number of local and international figures, toured the exhibition area, where She was introduced to over 275 local, regional and international humanitarian and charity associations, relief agencies, NGOs, donors and procurers.
As part of the tour, Princess Haya visited the International Humanitarian City, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the UAE Red Crescent Society, the Tkiyet Umm Ali and World Food Programme (WFP) stands. Also on the tour, Princess Haya inaugurated a photo exhibition for the WFP and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The exhibition featured 30 photographs highlighting WFP and UNICEF’s work with children around the world especially in the Middle East region.
This year’s theme, “Global Health Challenges of Tomorrow: Impact & Response”, highlights the major health risks that stem from humanitarian challenges, more specifically the recent earthquake in Haiti, the ongoing food crisis and global warming. Princess Haya spoke at the opening ceremony, which was attended by international organizations and associations as well as several key international leaders in the industry.
“The traditional solution to hunger is simply to produce more food – more wheat, maize or rice. It is not that simple. We need the right foods for the right people at the right times in their lives. To deal with hunger effectively, we need to target our interventions better,” said Princess Haya. “Ultimately, we need to modify behaviors and encourage healthy lifestyles in order to reduce the soaring burden.”
Also speaking was HE Ahmed Humaid Al Mazroui, Chairman of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, who said, “DIHAD is a reality of the UAE’s vision towards humanitarian trends, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and is the biggest event in the region that caters to the most dynamic and fastest growing industry at present time. DIHAD is being held at a time where humanitarian and relief efforts are much needed. The conference will discuss vital issues concerning the challenges of the future of health, while highlighting the silent killers that affect poor nations.”
In his speech, HE Ibrahim Bumelha, stated that “DIHAD opens the door for humanitarian agencies around the world to discuss and follow the latest in developments and programs to further heighten global and regional relief operations and humanitarian aid. The scientific committee, DISAB, decided this year to tackle the health problems that arise during crises, humanitarian challenges, and war. DIHAD attracts global attention towards disasters and crises afflicting the world today, such as the earthquake in Haiti and the startling health problems that ensued as a result of the limited health standards and food, as well as global warming and its effects.”
DIHAD will hold six major sessions during its three days, tackling major issues such as health trends, killer diseases, scientific innovations and new technologies, guidelines on capitalizing the low cost health interventions, health priorities in disasters, the necessity of collaborating efforts of the public and private sectors, to name a few. In addition, DIHAD 2010 will host top UN leaders and other humanitarian and relief organizations to share their expertise and experiences. The pre-conference workshop, presented by UNOCHA, focuses on the challenges met while delivering humanitarian aid. Other workshops will focus on logistics in the provision of health services, water and sanitation and its impact on health, community empowerment tools for health development, and more specialized topics.
DIHAD is organised by Index Conferences and Exhibitions, member of Index Holding and in cooperation with Mohammed Bin Rashid AL Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Society, Dubai Cares, Organization of Islamic Conference and the International Humanitarian City as platinum sponsor and other international and regional organisations.