File photo of a previous edition of DIHAD in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) will start on March 14 at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the leading humanitarian forum brings together some of the world’s philanthropic institutions, spreading a culture of volunteerism.

The 18th edition will feature more than 600 non-governmental organisations, humanitarian associations, companies, suppliers, and international brands from around the world. Additionally, 50 renowned humanitarian speakers are participating in eight key sessions at the conference and 16 workshops will be held by the United Nations, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, and the private sector. Over 6,000 participants from 84 countries are set to take part in the event.

This year’s theme is inspired by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 17). The Sustainable Development Goals represent a global call for international cooperative action to end poverty, protect communities, and ensure equal rights and peace and prosperity by 2030. Currently, 31 UN agencies are working together with the UAE, including the World Food Programme, UNESCO, UNRWA and UNHCR.

Ambassador Gerhard Putman-Cramer, CEO of DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Foundation, stated: “At DIHAD 2022, we will once again gather friends and colleagues from national government authorities, international and non-governmental organisations, the Red Cross/Red Crescent, foundations and charities, academic institutions, the media, and the private sector. As in previous editions of the conference, we will attempt – duly inspired by our most distinguished opening and keynote speakers – to develop actionable conclusions and recommendations.

He added: “On behalf of the International Advisory Board of the DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Foundation, my call to action is for you to join us from March 14 to 16 in Dubai and help build, as well as reinforce partnerships to address global challenges and make DIHAD 2022 a landmark event yet again.”

Commenting on the event, Dr Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of DIHAD Sustainable Humanitarian Foundation, Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), Roving Ambassador for the GCC, and Chairman of INDEX Holding, stated: “Dubai remains the leader in philanthropy in line with the guidance of good leadership that reinforces the country’s lofty mission in education, knowledge, health care, humanitarian assistance, relief and so many other aspects. DIHAD is set to highlight the significance of collective efforts and joint endeavors towards the development of societies and individuals worldwide.”

Several countries will gather in Dubai to share their experiences within the humanitarian sector and discuss ways to spread the culture of philanthropy, as well as establish new partnerships with relief workers who are also participating in the exhibition. France, Germany, and Norway are among some of the countries participating in the exhibition. The United Nations is participating through eight institutions: UNHCR, WFP, UNFPA, UNFCC, IOM, WHO, OCHA and UNICEF.

Frédéric Szabo, Business France Director in the Middle East, said: “Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, is organising a French pavilion for the third time in a row at DIHAD. Our objectives are clear: Bringing value to the UAE’s regional humanitarian hub initiative for the distribution of humanitarian aid globally, strengthening our relationship with local and international NGOs, humanitarian providers, companies, suppliers, and international brands from all parts of the world gathered during DIHAD exhibition and supporting the seven French companies exhibiting at the event in strengthening ties.

Michael Schmidt, Deputy Head of UNIDO ITPO Germany, said: “The pavilion will feature 14 European private sector companies, showcasing innovative solutions for the provision of energy, WASH, health, construction and waste management in fragile environments. The pavilion is a new platform to foster meaningful collaboration between the private sector, NGOs, development organisations and the humanitarian sector.”

Innovation Norway is the Commercial Section of the Royal Norwegian Embassy and works to promote Norwegian Export – there will be total of seven participating companies from Norway at DIHAD Exhibition.

Conference topics

The 18th edition of DIHAD focuses on the theme of ‘Partnerships and Cooperation for Sustainable Development,’ the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 17. The conference will expound on this theme through discussions on various topics including other UN SDG Goals such as Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Climate Action (SDG 13), Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG 3), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Economic Growth and Decent Work for All (SDG 8), Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure (SDG 9), Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions (SDG 16), and many others.

The United Nations Office for the Cooperation of Humanitarian Affairs is also set to hold a pre-conference workshop on March 13, prior to the commencement of DIHAD, to introduce participants to this year’s conference theme from the perspective of the multilateral humanitarian system. The workshop also aims to discuss the role of partnerships and collaborative work in the “Humanitarian-Development-Peace Collaboration, the HDP Nexus” by bringing technical experts to share their experiences and expertise.

The DIHAD Exhibition and Conference is organised annually by INDEX Conference and Exhibitions Organization Est., - a member of INDEX Holding and is proudly supported by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, the Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, the United Nations, and International Humanitarian City.

DIHAD is also supported by the Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department (IACAD), Dubai; Muslim World League; MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dawsongroup Temperature Control Solutions, and Life for Relief and Development, USA.