DIHAD Hosts Humanitarian Week in Dubai This March

DIHAD Hosts Humanitarian Week in Dubai This March

Sending a call for help and assisting the less fortunate in Africa


Dubai – United Arab Emirates, 8 January, 2020: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and the supervision and support of Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, representatives and Senior Board Members and distinguished Members of the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, Supporting Entities and INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding, announced the details of the ‘Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development – DIHAD Humanitarian Week’, during a press conference held today at Emirates Towers in Dubai.

Running under the theme ‘Aid, a focus on Africa’, the ‘DIHAD Humanitarian Week’ which includes, DIHAD World Children Marathon & International Humanitarian Hackathon 2020, will be taking place from the 6th to the 12th of March, 2020, focusing on the most critical humanitarian challenges, exploring innovative ways to help the needy and making a real difference in the lives of people in Africa.


The press conference witnessed the attendance of a high-level delegation from Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid including Moosa Khoory, Member of Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, Sara Al Sayegh, Director of Communications and Marketing Department at Dubai Sports Council, Dr. Manal Omran Taryam, CEO and Board Member – Noor Dubai Foundation, Mohammed Abdullah Al Zarooni, Director of the Emirates Red Crescent in Dubai, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding, Executive Chairman of DIHAD and DISAB and Goodwill Ambassador of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) and other esteemed members of the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid among other senior officials and media executives.


During the press conference, it was revealed that the DIHAD World Children Marathon, is aimed at raising awareness about the humanitarian challenges facing the aid workers and people in Africa and it will be held on the 6th of March, 2020 from 6 AM to 10 AM, at the Happiness Street in Dubai. Moreover, the 4-kilometer run is expected to attract the presence of over 10,000 people from over 202 nationalities, as well as the active participation of a number of schools, universities, government entities, private sectors and general public including teachers, students, parents, public figures, civil society members and others, who aim to contribute for the brighter future of children in Africa.


While speaking about the launch of International Humanitarian Hackathon on the sidelines of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development DIHAD Conference and Exhibition, the high-level delegation mentioned that the 2-day hackathon event focuses on the ‘Humanitarian challenges in Africa’ and will be held on the 10th and 11th of March, 2020, the first and second day of DIHAD conference and exhibition.


It was further mentioned that the International Humanitarian Hackathon, will be held under 3 separate tracks namely, Technology, Humanitarian Used Devices (HUD’s) and Innovative Ideas/Concepts and is specifically designed to create solutions to humanitarian challenges in Africa and the rest of the world. The hackathon features the participation of over 200 students and more than 1,000 visitors including top international organizations, incubators, tech companies, startups, academics and talented students, who will come together to generate new ideas, build prototypes and launch new projects for the people in humanitarian crisis.


From his side, H.E. Saeed Al Eter, Chairman of the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid and the Assistant Secretary General of Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, said, “DIHAD has become one of the most pivotal humanitarian platforms where the best minds gather under one roof to offer their valuable insights and experiences in the field of humanitarian work as well as set practical strategies and develop robust approaches to overcome the most significant humanitarian challenges. This is largely done by developing relief mechanisms that can be applied on a wider scale, fostering highest levels of efficiency, synergy and competitiveness and facilitating the transfer of humanitarian aid to concerned target groups.”

H.E. Al Eter added, “Since its establishment in 2004, DIHAD was successful in establishing an innovative platform dedicated to sustainable humanitarian aid and relief work while also ensuring that it lays the groundwork for the exchange of best international experiences in this highly evolving field. Moreover, the forum seeks to address the most pressing humanitarian issues that hinder the empowerment of disadvantaged and vulnerable social groups across the globe while also meet the basic requirements of people that guarantees improvement in their quality of life.”

He further stated, “The participation of the Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid in ‘DIHAD Humanitarian Week’ reflects the vision and the goals of the council which aims to invest and harness advanced technologies for developing the field of humanitarian work and build viable partnerships with global bodies and organizations as well as implement innovative solutions to overcome the major challenges facing humanity including various crises and calamities.”


H.E. Al Etar stressed, “The Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid supports the launch of International Humanitarian Hackathon, which is being held under the theme ‘Humanitarian challenges in Africa’ as well as the DIHAD World Children Marathon aimed at highlighting the suffering of the afflicted and disadvantaged communities in Africa. These initiatives also intend to raise awareness among the children and the youth in the UAE who represent 202 nationalities inspiring them to realize that the cultural diversity they represent does not contradict the fundamental principles and values of humanity and that it is a necessity to unite all efforts, ideas and initiatives in order to build a better world.”


While quoting a recent report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs – UNOCHA, on the challenges faced by aid workers during relief efforts, His Excellency stated, “By 2020, 168 million people or 1 in 45 people globally will be in dire need of humanitarian aid owing to a number of crises and disasters facing more than 50 countries and this calls for urgent action and the need to join hands, unifying efforts, strategies and solutions in the field of humanitarian work.”


From her side, Dr. Manal Taryam, CEO of Primary Health Care Sector, Dubai Health Authority, said, “Under the umbrella of the Dubai Future council for humanitarian work, the Dubai Humanitarian Hackathon will challenge participants to collaborate and innovate solutions and ideas to enhance humanitarian initiatives globally.”


Dr. Manal added, “With an emphasis on Africa, the participants will be provided challenges from the field of humanitarian work targeting multiple aspects ranging from education, accessibility to health care, climate changes, water supply and disaster response. The winners will be supported by the Dubai future Foundation and partners to develop a prototype of the innovative idea which is expected to be put to use before the next DIHAD in 2021.”


She further stated, “Technology partners, academics and innovators are invited to mentor the students and young programmers and guide them through the 3 days hackathon. The judging panel will help study the proposed innovative ideas and choose a winner based on criteria such as: business value, creativity, realistic capabilities and level of innovation.”


Commenting on the launch of DIHAD World Children Marathon and International Humanitarian Hackathon in Dubai, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding, Executive Chairman of DIHAD and DISAB and Goodwill Ambassador of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), said, “At DIHAD, we have always been extremely keen to be at the forefront of supporters and sponsors in the field of humanitarian and volunteer work in all its various forms and dimensions, whenever and wherever it is deemed necessary. Ever since its inception in 2004, the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition – DIHAD has clearly established itself as a global beacon for charitable and humanitarian work as well as a seminal guide for all the humanitarian organizations, charitable institutions and entities around the globe. Over the years, DIHAD has been highly successful in providing support to thousands of needy individuals and communities by bringing together over 640 Participating Non-Governmental Associations, Companies, Suppliers and International Brands from across the world.”


He added, “From the outset, DIHAD has organized a significant number of humanitarian activities and initiatives to highlight the challenges faced by those who suffer from calamities as well as the supporting entities and organizations. Therefore, we have decided this year to launch the DIHAD Humanitarian Week from the very heart of Dubai, the city that offered help and support to millions of people around the world. For the 17th edition of DIHAD Conference and Exhibition, we chose the theme “Aid: a focus on Africa” where we intend to highlight the most important challenges facing this continent, seek the support of the local and global entities and organizations and discuss the best humanitarian practices and viable solutions to the current crises in Africa, which calls for urgent global concerted action.”


He also stated, “The DIHAD Humanitarian Week, being held from the 6th to the 12th of March, 2020, will feature a number of charitable and awareness-raising activities and events that focus on the importance of giving and helping the people in need in Africa. The DIHAD Humanitarian Week includes “DIHAD World Children Marathon”, an activity that will bring together children and individuals from the various nationalities residing in the United Arab Emirates to achieve one goal: to help the Children in Africa. Furthermore, DIHAD will also witness the launch of the “International Humanitarian Hackathon” which will feature the participation of a number of students from the UAE and abroad to generate new ideas, projects, and innovative solutions for the problems faced by the people in need in Africa. The Hackathon also aims to introduce the humanitarian organizations to the pressing humanitarian challenges faced by the individuals on the ground in that continent. Additionally, DIHAD will also witness a number of pre-conference workshops that will discuss a number of topics like, food crisis, climate change, the impact of humanitarian crises on women and children, and the role of coordination in crises and emergencies, among others.”


For his part, Mohammed Abdullah Al Zarooni, Director of the Emirates Red Crescent in Dubai, said, “We are delighted to participate in the DIHAD Conference and Exhibition as strategic partners for the 17th consecutive year, as it is an important humanitarian platform attracting more than 600 companies involved in the relief and rehabilitation efforts of the needy and the impacted.  This year, as part of DIHAD Humanitarian Week, we are witnessing the launch of DIHAD World Children Marathon, which will start on the 6th of March, 2020 and we are expected to attract a number of people from different nationalities residing in Dubai.”


He added, “The Emirates Red Crescent is currently present in 18 locations around the world, where it provides impactful humanitarian services, including the Emirati -Jordanian camp ‘Mrajeeb Al Fhood’, in Jordan, which provides medical, therapeutic and educational services to over 10,000 Syrian refugees in addition to operating the largest field hospital in Mafraq city, which offers medical services to thousands of people. This comes as, Emirates Red Crescent is widely renowned as the first to reach the disaster areas in the region and the 3rd globally, helping victims in times of great need.”


Sara Al Sayegh, Director of Communications and Marketing at the Dubai Sports Council, said: “The Dubai Sports Council is keen on extending a helping hand to those in need around the world, in order to translate the direction of our wise leadership, by launching initiatives and organizing sporting events that contribute towards supporting charitable work, and the functioning of the Dubai Sports Council. We recommend all concerned entities to be part of DIHAD 2020, the largest humanitarian event of its kind in Dubai, as the Council is keen to support any sporting activity aimed at developing humanitarian initiatives locally and globally. ”


“The Council has previously participated in the Dubai Giving campaign, which aimed to provide education to one million children around the world, especially in poor countries in Asia and Africa, through the organization of a charity auction, during which a range of valuable and rare donations were launched from sports, local and international institutions. The Council has launched several humanitarian initiatives aimed at spreading a culture of giving in the sports community and encouraging its members to do charitable work, including the “Sports Footprint Award” in collaboration with the National Foundation. The UAE based individuals and institutions who have generously provided community initiatives that achieve the humanitarian and community objectives of sport are honored to have a positive impact on the sports sector and we aim to promote positive values in society by spreading a culture of humanitarian work in the sector. The Sports Council of Dubai has also launched the “Give a Smile” initiative launched by the Council to promote the idea of giving in the sports community by donating sports clothing and equipment and delivering it to those in need.”


“The Council is keen to ensure that charities are present at all sporting events, where a large proportion of the enrolment proceeds are allocated to these events for charity, such as Triathlon Dubai Ladies, Hatta Women’s Kayak Challenge, Vertical Race, and Unity Run and many other events.”


From his side, Moosa Khoory, Member of Dubai Future Council on Humanitarian Aid, said: “Humanitarian work today requires more creative ideas and innovative approaches to maximize the benefit and come out with better results, and this is what we seek through the International Humanitarian Hackathon and the DIHAD World Children Marathon.”


Meanwhile, DIHAD 2020 will feature the presence of a Pre-Conference Workshop program, which will address many important topics related to humanitarian aid in Africa, including a number of discussions under a session titled ‘Overview of Humanitarian Aid in Africa: ‘A Complex Context’, where experts will offer their insights on ‘Overview of Current Protracted Crises and Emergencies in Africa’ and ‘Role of Coordination in Crises and Emergencies’.


Additionally, more important discussions on the humanitarian challenges in Africa will be held under the session ‘Major Challenges Facing Humanitarian Aid in Africa’ such as ‘Climate Change and Armed Conflicts’, and the ‘Impact of Humanitarian Crises on Children and Women’.


Furthermore, an additional session will be held on ‘Future of Humanitarian Aid in Africa’, where experts will share their experiences on ‘Climate-Driven Food Crisis in Africa’ and the ‘Humanitarian Development Nexus; The New Way of Working’.


The 17th DIHAD Conference and Exhibition, which is the largest humanitarian event of its kind in the region, will be held from 10th to the 12th of March, 2020 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, under the theme ‘Aid, a focus on Africa’. The 3-day humanitarian gathering aims to focus its efforts on addressing the most pressing global needs of people living in poverty, oppression and conflict in various countries and continents.


Running parallel to the Conference, the DIHAD Exhibition brings together the biggest humanitarian aid organizations, leading global institutions, world leaders, profit and non-profit organizations and key industry professionals, providing them an opportunity to showcase their latest products and services, breakthrough innovations and technology while also giving them a chance to engage in productive collaborations and expand their businesses in the region.


DIHAD is annually organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions – a member of INDEX Holding and the 2020 edition is supported by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Est, the United Nations, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, International Humanitarian City, Dubai Cares, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Noor Dubai Foundation.


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