UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of International Humanitarian City (IHC), HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, today attended the 3rd Humanitarian Donors Meeting at IHC as part of a series of quarterly meetings organized by the UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA) and the United Nations (UNDP) for UAE-based donors to discuss regional humanitarian issues.
Held for the first time in Dubai, the 3rd Donor Meeting focused on the response, support and aid given to the thousands that were affected by the catastrophic earthquake that shook Haiti on the 12th of January 2010.
Makiya Al Hajiri, CEO of IHC, kicked off the meeting with a brief welcome, encouraging all attendees to seize the opportunity to discuss and share the various efforts taken to provide aid and relief in support of sustainable development around the world. Speakers at the meeting included H.E. Hazza Falah Al Qahtani, General Manager, OCFA; Dr. Kayan Jaff, UN Resident Coordinater – UAE; Mageed Yahia, Officer-in-Charge, World Food Programme (WFP); H.E. Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart, Ambassador of Switzerland and Mr. Vicente Cacho, Deputy Head of Mission of Spain.
The purpose of the meeting was to provide a comprehensive overview of the humanitarian efforts and the size of aid and relief provided by the UAE. The meeting was also a chance to strengthen IHC’s relationship with the international aid community and reinforce its position as a major global humanitarian hub.
Attendees comprised of a number of UN agencies including the World Food Programme, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Department of Safety & Security (UNDSS) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). A representative from the UAE Red Crescent and Ambassadors from Switzerland, Norway, France and Egypt, in addition to representatives from many UAE based diplomatic missions took part in the meeting.
On emphasizing the importance of the occasion, Ms. Al Hajiri stated: “Today’s gathering is an important forum to review the humanitarian activities initiated in the UAE and discuss how we can further help those in need. I would like to take this opportunity to thank HRH Princess Haya for Her leadership as Chairperson of the IHC and of course, for Her dedication and commitment towards the development of the humanitarian field.”
Presentations by OCFA and the WFP highlighted the role UAE-based organizations play in providing emergency relief and funds in critical situations. Emphasis was made on facilitating humanitarian aid and development, given the UAE’s strategic location and its commitment to the humanitarian sector.
At the end of the meeting, the guests were given a site visit of the IHC premises, home to emergency response stocks maintained by the WFP, UNHCR, and UNHRD, among others.