Dubai’s role and strategic position was further strengthened today as a direct result of Decree No.33 issued by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, appointing a new Board of Directors for the International Humanitarian City (IHC), Wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Chairperson of IHC, thanked the previous board members, praising them for their direction and contribution towards IHC’s growth in recent years.
The mission of the IHC has been to supply leading humanitarian actors with world-class logistics infrastructure, value-added services and administrative support, especially in areas of conflict like Darfur and natural disasters like the massive drought now afflicting the Horn of Africa. Fifty percent of world emergencies happen in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, but IHC’s outreach extends its aid efforts as far away as Haiti. It has proven enormously popular with aid agencies because it facilitates efficient movement of goods and personnel in crises and is now undergoing a major expansion. Currently, with over 25,000 square metres in storage space, in comparison to the 10,000 square metres UN Logistics Base in Brindisi and the 1,600 square metres UN Logistics Base in Panama, the IHC is already the world’s largest UN operated hub for the provision of emergency assistance.
Under HH Sheikh Mohammed’s direction, and as highlighted in Decree No. 33, HRH Princess Haya was appointed Chairperson of the new Board. Mr. Ibrahim Bumilha, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Humanitarian & Charity Establishment, will serve under HRH Princess Haya as the board’s Vice-Chairman. Newly appointed members of the board include Mr. Abdalla Ahmed Al Habbai, CEO of the Engineer’s Office, Mr. Abdulla Abdul Rahman Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director of General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs – Dubai, Ambassador Abdul Rahman Ahmed Al Shamlan, Director of MOFA Office in Dubai, Mr. Hilal Saeed Al Marri, CEO of the Dubai World Trade Center, Mr. Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Deputy Chairman of Dubai Real Estate Corporation and CEO of Wasl, and Mr. Saeed Mohammed Hareb, Executive Director of Clubs and Marines in Nakheel Properties.
IHC was first established in 2007 in Dubai as part of the United Nation’s international system of depots designed to speed aid to cope with humanitarian crises all over the globe. This system, the UN Humanitarian Relief Depots (UNHRD), consists of warehouses and offices in Panama, Italy, Ghana, Malaysia and Dubai. A $10 million contribution by HH Sheikh Mohammed and other Dubai benefactors in 2004 helped expand the UNHRD to cover the globe. Eight UN agencies and nearly 50 NGOs and commercial agencies with up to 200 staff are accommodated in the IHC complex today. The operation of the IHC is budgeted at around $6 million annually.