ABU DHABI // Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Ruler of Dubai, has approved the expansion of International Humanitarian City.
The move, in response to urgent demand from UN and leading NGO agencies, most notably the Red Crescent, UNHCR, ICRC and the World Food Programme, will see the facility grow by more than 300,000 square feet.
More warehouse space will offer greater support to aid agencies struggling to cope with growing global demand for emergency services.
It will also help IHC members better pre-position stocks in the event of new pandemics, natural disasters and more armed conflicts and conduct more training of aid workers.
Conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria and other trouble spots has led to displacement of more than 65 million people and a rise in the need for emergency aid in the form of food, shelter, and medicine.
Demand for aid is now at its highest since World War II and agencies need additional warehousing and logistics support to cope.
Founded in 2003, IHC is the world’s largest humanitarian logistics hub. Its members include nine United Nations agencies, apart from nearly 50 NGOs and businesses working in the aid sector.
When IHC moved to its current location in Dubai Industrial City near Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum Airport in 2011, it tripled in size but demand for space has continued to climb rapidly.
The IHC has played a pivotal role in first responses to crises in places as far away as Haiti and Vanuatu. The global hub for humanitarian services has played an especially critical role in moving goods to trouble spots in the MENA region and East Africa. UN and NGO members import and trans-ship massive amounts of aid supplies worth hundreds of millions of dirhams.