Dubai set to triple size of humanitarian hub amid soaring demand

Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed approves expansion plans as demand hits post World War 2 high
Dubai set to triple size of humanitarian hub amid soaring demand
By Staff writer
Fri 20 Jan 2017 01:28 AM

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has approved plans to triple the size of Dubai's International Humanitarian City in response to a sharp rise in global demand for emergency aid,

Sheikh Mohammed, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said demand is increasing from leading UN and NGO agencies, most notably the Red Crescent, UNHCR, ICRC and the World Food Programme.

The approval gives the green light for expanding warehousing facilities by more than 300,000 square feet to streamline and strengthen operations to support aid agencies, which are struggling to cope with growing global demand for emergency services.

The expansion will help IHC members better pre-position stocks in the event of new pandemics, natural disasters and more armed conflicts and conduct more training of aid workers, a statement said.

Intensifying conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nigeria and other trouble spots have led to mass displacement of over 65 million people and a sharp rise in the need for emergency aid in the form of food, shelter, and medicine, it added.

Demand for such aid is now at its highest worldwide since World War II, and aid agencies need additional warehousing and logistics support to cope.

Founded in 2003, the International Humanitarian City is already the world's largest humanitarian logistics hub. Its members include nine United Nations agencies, apart from nearly 50 NGOs and businesses working in the aid sector. 

When IHC moved to its current location in Dubai Industrial City near Jebel Ali Port and Al Maktoum Airport in 2011, it tripled in size, but demand for space has continued to climb rapidly. 

The IHC also makes a valuable contribution to the UAE economy.  The UNHCR alone, for example, bought AED337 million ($92 million) worth of goods in the UAE in 2016.

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