Call to Formulate Strategies to Tackle Recession Challenges

DUBAI — The global recession will have a larger impact on communities and will require countries to formulate strategies to face challenges, said experts on the opening day of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD 2009) on Tuesday.

By Preeti Kannan

Published: Wed 8 Apr 2009, 11:58 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:13 AM

Heads of humanitarian agencies called for “collective action” to find solutions, even as unemployment rates are expected to soar in the next few years. United Nations officials estimate that an alarming 960 million people are suffering from starvation globally now as compared to 800 million in 2007.

Over 90 international organisations and 300 exhibitors from 65 countries are participating in the sixth edition of DIHAD, being held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“The impact of the global economic recession is slowing demand, and (resulting in) drop in foreign direct investments, fall in currency exchange rates and reduced foreign remittances. These developments, which were barely detectable even in (November last year), are becoming prominent in every country,” said Dr Robert Glasser, secretary-general of Care International in Geneva.

“These macro-economic trends will have a direct impact on the poor and have an indirect impact on governments,” he said, observing that falling remittances by migrants would affect families back home, while reduced foreign investments and exports would affect countries in the long run.

Adding that these challenges would drastically increase unemployment rates, Glasser said, “This trend is likely to intensify in the coming months. Many firms will go out of business. Many tens of people will be pushed into desperate circumstances.”

He added the impacts of the recession would have a domino effect, resulting in increased global poverty.

Inaugurating the three-day event, Ibrahim Bumelha, Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of Shaikh Mohammed and chairman of DIHAD, observed that the world is now facing numerous challenges including environmental changes, poverty and the global recession. “These challenges do not differentiate between rich and poor countries. The outcome of these problems affect communities and people. That is why we have to put in place strategic initiatives and programmes to meet the challenges,” he said.

Bumelha added that DIHAD has “opened the gates” for humanitarian organisations to discuss and follow up on initiatives that can benefit people.

“DIHAD is an internationally well-known event. The UAE is always keen to gather all pioneers that support the world’s communities and is ready to help,” he added.

DIHAD’s theme this year is ‘Empowering Communities: From Disaster to Development’, and comprises five significant meetings tackling world’s major humanitarian challenges, including food crisis, global warming, financial crisis, community preparedness and response to disasters. Sessions will also highlight the current situation in Gaza.

More news from