The International Humanitarian City (IHC), the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), opened today a workshop on “Responding to Emergencies” at the IHC premises in Dubai. The training is being attended by personnel working in the field of humanitarian response from UAE donor and humanitarian organizations and member organizations of the IHC, and it is facilitated by emergency response experts with significant experience in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The workshop will be based on the content of the bilingual (Arabic-English) manual “Responding to Emergencies” published by UN OCHA and OCFA in 2011. Over the next three days, participants will acquire tools for emergency preparedness, planning and response, including conducting needs assessments, analyzing and sharing information, and coordinating in the field.

HE Sultan Al Shamsi, Executive Director of OCFA said: “UAE humanitarian organizations are among the first to respond to emergencies; in 2011 alone, the UAE spent a total of AED 625.3 million on humanitarian aid in 30 countries. In support of these humanitarian organisations, OCFA, IHC and UN OCHA have formed a unique partnership to provide donors with the basic tools needed to respond effectively to emergencies, where effective humanitarian interventions require careful planning and preparedness”.

HE Shaima Al Zarooni, the Chief Executive Officer of IHC welcomed the UAE donor organizations and IHC’s members and partners, OCFA and UN OCHA at the event opening. “IHC encourages productive partnerships serving the humanitarian work and this workshop is an opportunity for UAE donors and their international counterparts at IHC to exchange experiences about the measures applied when responding to humanitarian crises. In this way, we are confident that humanitarian workers can coordinate and collaborate on strengthening and improving their responses” HE Shaima Al Zarooni said.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Khaled Khalifa, Head of the UN OCHA Gulf Office, said: “UN OCHA is pleased to collaborate with IHC and OCFA on conducting this training. It is crucial that humanitarian response organizations work together to improve the capacity of their personnel, since this is the most effective way to improve cooperation during a disaster, and help ensure that those in need receive the best possible assistance”.

The workshop is facilitated by Ms. Sarah El Khazin, a humanitarian consultant and representatives of UN OCHA in the Gulf and Yemen, Mr. Majed Abu Kubi and Mr. Moustafa Shbib.