In a recent report by agencies based in Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC), it was revealed that the UAE sent over $70 million (Dh257 million) in foreign aid to 89 countries in 2018. But according to Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, chairperson of the IHC and wife to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, even these tremendous efforts are not enough.
The IHC is a non-profit initiative home to 80 humanitarian organizations, commercial companies, and United Nations agencies. Every year, thousands of aid shipments– the most common of which are water purifier sachets– are sent to countries in need. Africa received the bulk of IHC aid last year, with shipments to the continent valued at $42 million.
“At no time in recent memory has humanitarian aid been as critical as it is today. The demand for assistance continues to grow and last year we saw a new record for UN and NGO appeals for crises ranging from natural disasters to droughts and civil conflict,” Princess Haya wrote in the report, which was released Monday.
Sending out aid is not an easy task. It requires keeping track of global aid stocks and deliveries, which are difficult to coordinate across country lines. The IHC’s landmark launch of the Humanitarian Logistics Databank aims to solve for this.
Given the intense pressure on the aid community to perform, ensuring that emergency assistance is better coordinated and delivered is of paramount importance,” she wrote. According to Princess Haya, the IHC’s endeavors are part of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance Project for 2019.
“By its very nature, the humanitarian work of the IHC and its members rejects discrimination and hatred, seeking to bring nations together to end suffering and promote economic development among the poor. We, in Dubai and the UAE, are indeed very fortunate, but our good fortune should not make us lose sight of the trials faced by others,” she said in the report.
The UAE is one of the top international aid donors worldwide relative to its national income, giving 1.3% of it’s GDP to charitable causes across the globe in 2017. But even with generous donations from many states, natural disasters and refugee crises are making these funds disappear quickly. As of 2018, the UN needed $8.2 billion to help refugees and migrants across the world– it only received 55% of that amount.
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