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L To R : Sara Al Sayegh, director communications of Dubai Slirts Ckubcil, Mohammad Al Zarouni GM, Red Creacebt, Dubai, Abdulla Salam Al Madani, Chaiman DIHAD, Dr Manal Al Taryam CEO Noor Dubai and Moosa Khoikhoi Musa, representing Dubai Future Council for humanitarian Aid at the DIHAD event . Image Credit:

Dubai: A marathon run in aid of children and a hackathon to find technology solutions for humanitarian causes are two key events planned during the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference (DIHAD) being held for a week from March 6-12 in the Emirates.

Over 202 nationalities are likely to participate in the marathon.

In a press conference held to announce the week-long conference being held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as well as the United Nations, Dr Abdul Salam Al Madani, chairman of DIHAD said, “This year the focus of DIHAD is Africa and we intend to reach out to the children of Africa. As an organisation while we look to fulfilling universal human needs of food, clothing and shelter, our focus is looking to aid education, infrastructure, health and working with government and NGOs in countries selected to provide long-term solutions.”

Al Madani added that Mohammad Al Zarouni, General Manager of Red Crescent, Dubai said, the emirate had been consistently raising funds and helping out countries in need of aid irrespective of caste, nationality, religion or race.

“We have raised funds for Haiti, New Zealand and Australia and work without any bias to reach out to people in need. Noteworthy is our work in projects to help rebuild the infrastructure in the Indian state of Kerala after the devastation caused by the floods.”

Providing details on the hackathon, Manal Al Taryam, CEO of the Primary Health Centres in Dubai Health Authority and CEO of Noor Dubai Foundation said : “ The Hackathon will have three tracks – technology which will include solutions for telehealth, tele education for needy countries, humanitarian devices, and innovative ideas for providing technology based solutions. Winners will be mentored and prototypes of three winning ideas will be created for implementaion. Over 200 participants are expected at the hacakathon.”

Registrations for the marathon which takes place on Happiness Street from 6-10am on March 6 are open and people can register via www.dihad.org for the marathon as well as the hackathon.

Al Madani said, “We are expecting over 10,000 people to participate in the 4.5-km marathon and proceeds from the registration as well as funds raised will be allocated for children’s welfare in certain countries. This year as our focus is Africa. Selection of the regions in the African continent will be announced later.”

Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Islamic Bank and Noor Dubai Foundation, Dubai Future Council are some of the other agencies collaborating in the conference.