Haya, UN refugee chief tour Humanitarian City

Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres paid a joint visit to the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai on Tuesday afternoon.

By (Wam)

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Published: Wed 27 Mar 2013, 8:59 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:31 AM

They toured the transport and logistics facilities and were briefed about the IHC’s role, being the world’s largest and busiest logistics hub for humanitarian aid, hosting nine UN agencies and 44 NGOs and commercial entities.

The IHC was established by Shaikh Mohammed in 2003 and is chaired by UN Messenger of Peace Princess Haya.

Year by year, the amount of assistance that has been delivered to the expanding humanitarian emergencies has increased dramatically. In 2012, the UNHCR sent 112 shipments to 22 countries totalling over 5,000 metric tonnes of humanitarian supplies from the UAE — a 77 per cent increase compared to 2011.

The UNHCR established its global emergency stockpile in the UAE in 2006 at the IHC. Guterres emphasised the centrality of Dubai in facilitating the humanitarian response to numerous crises, not only in the region, but globally. He expressed his gratitude to Shaikh Mohammed for continuing to host the UNHCR’s global stockpile.

He also praised Princess Haya for her humanitarian commitment to refugees worldwide. The UNHCR’s emergency warehouse in Dubai is the organisation’s largest global stockpile of humanitarian relief making up half of the its stockpile.

“We are so proud to host the UNHCR’s global stockpile in Dubai,” stated Princess Haya. “Antonio Guterres is a superb statesman and he and his staff are doing such vital work today, especially reaching out to the victims of civil conflict in Syria and other trouble spots. In the UAE, we want to help the aid community in real, concrete ways. As Shaikh Mohammed put it, ‘Our heritage is to give through deeds, not words; through projects, not speech’. The IHC does just that.”

The IHC’s capabilities and strategic location — within eight hours by air to two-thirds of the world’s population — have helped deliver assistance in some of the worst humanitarian crises of the past decade.

The High Commissioner is on an official two-day visit to the UAE during which he delivered a keynote address at the tenth anniversary of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD). —

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