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