Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 7 Dec 2016 01:55 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

Dubai ruler orders expansion of International Humanitarian City

Sheikh Mohammed issues directive to enhance operations, accelerate aid response and improve management of relief projects

Dubai ruler orders expansion of International Humanitarian City
A C-17 Globemaster III airlifters built for the United Arab Emirates Air Force and used to deliver humanitarian aid. (Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has ordered the expansion of International Humanitarian City to enhance operations, accelerate aid response and improve management of relief projects in high stress regions worldwide.

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed and chairperson of the International Humanitarian City (IHC), announced the plans on Wednesday.

The expansion plan comes as the IHC, the only humanitarian free zone in the world, has now grown to host 9 UN Humanitarian Agencies, and over 50 international NPOs, intergovernmental organisations and commercial companies.

With a vast warehouse network, it stores, protects and organises aid supplies for its members and facilitates the delivery of this humanitarian aid when called upon.

In the last two months, it has made heavy lifts of emergency aid after being called upon by the United Nations. In September, under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed, an airlift carrying more than 100 tons of relief supplies was sent to Entebbe, Uganda on his Boeing-747 to provide assistance to more than 60,000 refugees from South Sudan.

In October, the IHC also delivered 90 tons of relief supplies on the same Boeing 747 to those affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.

“What we are seeing is a growing demand in terms of frequency of response, to more hard to access places,” said Princess Haya. “The IHC is known for its ability to make big single lifts of aid in record response times... But Sheikh Mohammed has now guided the board to look at solutions to operate simultaneous smaller aircrafts at the same time.

"Additionally, we want to be able to respond to several crises at the same time. The frequency of demand for response is increasing, and the demand of our members for delivery is also becoming more frequent.”

The IHC board has appointed logistics advisor, Giuseppe Saba, at the International Humanitarian City for a period of 3-6 months to devise ideas on how to best maximise the IHC’s output. Saba previously served as head of the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD).

“I have had the honour of working with Mr Saba on several occasions in the past, and I am confident that he will help manage the day-to-day running of operations at the IHC but most importantly be an incredible partner for us to work with in order to expand the IHC,” added Princess Haya.

For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.