With more than half the humanitarian aid supplies for Syria’s refugees now being channeled through Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, the premises have received a stream of high profile visitors over the last few weeks. William Lacy Swing, Executive Director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a high level delegation from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC)and (IFRC) headed by Ms. Christine Beerli, the ICRC Permanent Vice-President and Mr. Matthias Schmale, Under Secretary General of National Society and Knowledge Development at the IFRC toured the premises, reviewed how aid supplies are procured, stored and transported in emergencies from the IHC, which is strategically situated near both the new Al Maktoum Airport and Jebel Ali Seaport.
These high level visitors follow recent tours of the IHC by the Secretary-General who inspected the premises with its founder, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai and Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who was at the premises with UN Messenger of Peace HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the IHC’s Chairperson earlier last week.
The IHC premises have grown rapidly and now it’s the largest logistics center for humanitarian aid in the world shipping assistance to emergencies as far away as Haiti. It is also part of a global UN system of aid depots partly constructed with funds from the UAE. At present, the IHC hosts 9 UN agencies and 44 NGOs and commercial companies operating from the premises.
Both the IOM and ICRC were among over 275 of aid agencies participating in the 10th DIHAD. As DIHAD attracts participants from the United Nations, bilateral donors, NGOs and commercial companies, the event led to significant new traffic to the IHC and potential new members. This year, IHC took the initiative in cooperation with Road and Transport Authority in Dubai in organizing tours to the IHC’s premises introducing DIHAD participants to the exceptional facilitates and logistics operations run by the UN agencies and international humanitarian organizations where more than 100 participants joined over the second and third day of DIHAD.