Dubai: The Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition- DIHAD, successfully concluded today after 3 days of highly enriching and productive discussions on the most urgent issues facing the continent of Africa, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The top humanitarian gathering in Dubai under the theme ‘Aid and Coronavirus, a Focus on Africa’, focused on ways to address various key issues and seek innovative ways to address and resolve them. In conclusion of the conference, the organizers announced the dates of the upcoming edition that will take place on March 2022.

On the sidelines of the activities that took place today, His Excellency Xavier Chatel, Ambassador of the French Republic to the UAE visited “DIHAD 2021” His Excellency visited the French pavilion at the exhibition running parallel to the conference, and was introduced to the innovations in the humanitarian and relief field offered by the participating French companies under the umbrella of Business France which included Ambrelia, Bolloré Logistics, Famoco, Fonto de Vivo , IMeBio, Nutriset and Tysilio.

His Excellency was accompanied by a high-level delegation of dignitaries, headed by Ambassador Gerhard Putman-Cramer, Director of the International Scientific Advisory Board, (DIHAD) - DISAB, and the Permanent Observer of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva, and Eng. Anas Al Madani, Vice Chairman and Group CEO of INDEX Holding.

On the sidelines of “DIHAD 2021” and within the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment provided financial support to the students of Zayed University as part of its educational program and in support of the role that educational institutions play in advancing the educational sector in the UAE. This support aims to help students with limited income to complete their educational journey and overcome the obstacles they face, which contributes to solving students' problems and increases their demand for educational attainment.

During the third and last day of "DIHAD 2021", Saleh AlMazroai, General Manager of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, delivered a cheque of the financial contribution, which amounted to one million AED to his Excellency Dr. Khalid Mohamed Alkhazraji, Vice President of Zayed University, in the presence of Ms. Bakhita Ali Al-Kitbi, Head of the Foundation's Internal Assistance, Dr. Hind Al Rustamani, Assistant Provost, Student Affairs Deanship, Mohamed AlMazrouei, Administration Director, and Sareea Alketbi, Student Support Specialist.

Various sessions took place over the course of 3 days. Commenting on his participation in one of the key sessions, Mr. Patrick Yousef, Regional Director for Africa, The International Committee of the Red Cross, said: “The sessions were quite interesting as they discussed the conflict crises and the COVID-19 in Africa. I thought that the session I participated in was quite interesting because we are witnessing that insecurity and conflicts are the main drivers for humanitarian crises and catastrophes. We are seeing cyclical and repeated cycles of violence and prolonged crises in Africa, from the Sahel to Somalia to Mozambique and many other countries that are unfortunately living the impact of crises, and those paying the price are civilian populations.”

He added: “The idea of the panel discussion was to discuss what are the most vulnerable groups in Africa today, and how are they coping with the growing humanitarian needs. My fellow panelists spoke about the role of women in society and in finding solutions, and about protection concerns. During armed conflicts, there are repeated cycles of violations against international law and human rights law, and during this panel, we all confirmed the centrality of putting international humanitarian law at the forefront of our endeavors to remain and build a sustainable future, with potential peace prospects into account, that is indeed what the international committee of the Red Cross seeks for, which is to be a first responder, build social cohesion in the communities we work with, and also build resilience.”

From his side, Dr. Chibuzo Okonta, President of Central and West Africa at Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF) said: “the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been relatively under control, however there is a risk of more cases and deaths if there is a different and more virulent strain making its way to Central and West Africa.”
He added: “there is an imminent need to vaccinate the population as this is a marathon race, and it will be foolish to think we have crossed the difficult part. There is an urgent need to implement digital technology to bridge the gap of access for patients through telemedicine. Emerging diseases due to environmental issues as a result of climate change have affected the way we live and this has led to increased conflict and displacement. People seeking food deeper in the forests or migrating with livestock to seek for pasture weakens adherence to health system, and leads to more conflicts and frequent outbreaks of diseases like Ebola."

Over the last 3 days, DIHAD 2021 successfully attracted over 6000 visitors and participants from more than 84 countries. In addition, the exhibition witnessed the presence of over 600 exhibitors comprising leading NGO’s, government bodies, charities, aid workers and foundations who showcased key technologies and the latest trends in supporting refugees and migrant populations around the world.

DIHAD is organized annually by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding with the support of 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, Dubai Cares and International Humanitarian City. The event is sponsored by King Abdullah Humanitarian Foundation (KAHF), Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department, Pathfinder International, and Life for Relief & Development.


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