Mak­ing aid ef­fec­tive in con­flict zones

Khaleej Times - - NATION - Sh­er­ouk Zakaria

dubai — The hu­man­i­tar­ian land­scape must de­velop bet­ter roadmaps to fore­see emer­gen­cies and pro­vide ef­fec­tive re­sponses to hu­man­ity’s ever-chang­ing sit­u­a­tion, said Princess Haya bint Al Hus­sein, wife of His High­ness Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid Al Mak­toum, Vice-Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and chair­per­son of the In­ter­na­tional Hu­man­i­tar­ian City (IHC).

Dur­ing her key­note ad­dress at the Dubai In­ter­na­tional Hu­man­i­tar­ian Aid and De­vel­op­ment Con­fer­ence and Ex­hi­bi­tion (Di­had) that kicked off on Mon­day un­der the theme ‘Sus­tain­abil­ity in emer­gency aid’, Princess Haya said the hu­man­i­tar­ian sec­tor has failed to de­liver aid and re­spond ef­fec­tively to emer­gen­cies and crises. She called for de­vel­op­ing sus­tain­able so­lu­tions, bet­ter disas­ter re­sponses and fore­cast­ing be­fore dis­as­ters turn into emer­gen­cies. “We are the cus­to­di­ans of limited phys­i­cal and hu­man re­sources… yet, ev­i­dence show that we are emp­ty­ing our cups faster than we can re­fill them.”

With 16 coun­tries cur­rently strug­gling with po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence that dam­aged economies, food pro­duc­tion and health sys­tems and left mil­lions starv­ing, Princess Haya said the hu­man­i­tar­ian sec­tor has been shaken by the grow­ing po­lit­i­cal na­tion­al­ism and xeno­pho­bia that caused for­eign aid cuts and the gen­eral scru­tiny fac­ing agen­cies. “It is im­por­tant we don’t get dis­tracted from the vi­tal work we should con­tinue to do. Peo­ple’s lives are quite lit­er­ally in our hands.” To­day, 498 mil­lion peo­ple live in coun­tries ragged by con­flicts. About 850 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide (one in nine) lack food re­sources. Tens of mil­lions of dol­lars that might have sup­ported world de­vel­op­ments are now be­ing di­verted to con­flict ar­eas.

sh­er­ouk@khalee­j­times.com

Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

The Emi­rates Red Cres­cent pav­il­ion at Di­had. Un­der the theme ‘Sus­tain­abil­ity of Emer­gency Aid,’ Di­had is see­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion from 84 coun­tries un­til March 7.—

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