Dubai's Princess Haya warns of 'critical' need for aid in humanitarian report

International Humanitarian City sent more than $70m (Dh257m) abroad last year

22.02.18 Dubai Humanitarian City. Media was given a tour of the expanded International Humanitarian City as well as a open board meeting with Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and officials.
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More than $70 million (Dh257 million) worth of aid was sent to 89 countries from Dubai's International Humanitarian City in 2018.

The figure was revealed in the 2018 annual report launched on Monday by agencies based at IHC, chaired by Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein.

The IHC is a non-profit hub and home to more than 80 humanitarian organisations and commercial companies. Nine United Nations agencies are among them.

Princess Haya said the aid had been sent to alleviate global crises across the globe.

“At no time in recent memory has humanitarian aid been as critical as it is today,” Princess Haya wrote in the report.

We in Dubai and the UAE are indeed very fortunate, but our good fortune should not make us lose sight of the trials faced by others

“There are 123 million people who are displaced from their homes and dependent on outside help.

“Sadly the demand for assistance continues to grow and last year we saw a new record for UN and NGO appeals for crises ranging from natural disasters to droughts and civil conflict.”

One of the key milestones was launching the Humanitarian Logistics Databank to keep track of global aid stocks and deliveries, which are traditionally difficult to coordinate properly.

“Given the intense pressure on the aid community to perform, ensuring that emergency assistance is better coordinated and delivered is of paramount importance,” wrote Princess Haya, the wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

She said the IHC’s mission ties in with the UAE’s Year of Tolerance project for 2019.

“By its very nature, the humanitarian work of the IHC and its members rejects discrimination and hatred, seeking to bring nations together to end suffering and promote economic development among the poor,” wrote Princess Haya.

“We, in Dubai and the UAE, are indeed very fortunate, but our good fortune should not make us lose sight of the trials faced by others.”

The continent of Africa received the most aid out of IHC, with $42 million worth of goods flown and shipped there.

Yemen, Uganda, Sudan and Djibouti were the single largest recipient nations.

There were more than 1,200 aid shipments from IHC in 2018 with water purifier satchets being the most common item that was sent out.

Though many states give generously to international aid appeals - the UAE gave 1.3 per cent of its GDP in 2017 - there are consistent shortages driven by refugee crises, climate extreme weather events and food shortages and famine.

Earlier this year, The National reported that the UN Population Fund is millions short for its fund to fight child marriage and the exploitation of vulnerable women, including $15.6m (Dh57m) for such services in Iraq alone this year.