Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (centre front) during his tour of International Humanitarian City in Dubai on Sunday Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) visited International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai on Sunday.

During his visit, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus learned about the scope of the IHC’s work and the facilities provided to various humanitarian organisations in responding to emergencies.

He was accompanied by WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari. IHC CEO Giuseppe Saba, along with senior IHC officials and the staff of the WHO hub in Dubai, received the WHO Director-General.

Commenting on the occasion of his visit, Dr Ghebreyesus said WHO’s humanitarian hub in IHC has seen “impressive growth” over the last few years.

Proposal for global hub

He added: “Not only are we covering 129 countries from here, the space has grown from 3,000 square metres to 20,000 square metres. Our expectation is that the growth will be more. We are now proposing to the UAE to make it a global logistics hub for health emergencies. When that materialises, we will see even more countries being supported from here in the UAE.”

Saba said: “We were honoured by the visit of the Director-General of the World Health Organization and were delighted to take him on a tour of the IHC. Over the years, IHC has been privileged to support WHO in delivering much-needed relief material and emergency supplies to countries in need across the world.”

Strategic location

He added: “This support is part of the humanitarian ethos of Dubai and its leaders, who are committed to extend the emirate’s resources to enable international humanitarian organisations support communities in need of emergency assistance across the world. IHC’s strategic location and logistics infrastructure allows members of the IHC community like WHO to respond to two thirds of the world’s population within less than eight hours of flight.”

During the visit, the WHO Director-General toured the warehouses and logistics office of the World Health Organization at IHC, through which relief medical supplies are sent to all six geographic regions of WHO. He also visited IHC facilities such as its semi-automated Kitting Center and cold-chain facilities for medicines and vaccines.