Aid data bank will ensure right beneficiaries: Expert
DUBAI — The recently launched Humanitarian Logistics Data Bank will avoid the duplication of aid resources and help relief agencies save money, an expert has 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), had launched the data bank in February this year, during the World Government Summit.
The bank came into being with the efforts of 70 UN agencies and international organisations. Speaking to Khaleej Times, Giuseppe Saba, CEO of the IHC), said the online platform records available aid stock, exported stock and the countries that the relief items have reached, with a summary of contributions of each government. The data bank is aimed at helping governments in emergencies resulting from conflicts or natural disasters to access real-time information and seek help from the nearest country with needed stock.
It will also allow global mapping of available relief items, which will help avoid the duplication of resources sent to conflict zones.
“Many a time, you have an excess of blankets for example, and low numbers of medicine or shelter. The bank will help governments place their resources effectively and save money,” said Saba on the sidelines of the Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development (Dihad) Conference and Exhibition.
10 more countries to join the initiative
While Dubai has already gone live with its information directly derived from Dubai Customs to keep track of exported aid stock, Saba said the system will be duplicated in 10 other countries by the end of this year.
The platform that was displayed during Dihad showed that the UAE has $43.5 million of aid available for reach, including food, shelter, telecommunications, health and education.
The countries, which include Panama, will have the opportunity to register their information from their concerned agencies, on the online platform, to keep track of their stock and value.
The information exchange platform will be accessible to governments and humanitarian agencies. More than donation, he said the platform provides information, the main element in sustaining aid in an effective manner that saves money and optimises resources at a time where agencies are facing international foreign aid cuts.
“Today, we are talking about impact more than the donations
Many a time, you have an excess of blankets for example, and low numbers of medicine or shelter. The bank will help governments place their resources effectively and save money.” Giuseppe Saba, CEO, International Humanitarian City
themselves. We need to provide items today that will still be of use tomorrow, and we will not be able to do that without information,” said Saba.
Held under the theme ‘Sustainability in Emergency Aid,’ Dihad has brought together over 60 agencies and companies to work on a roadmap for humanitarian assistance. The conference ends today. During her opening speech on Monday, Princess Haya emphasised developing effective strategies that will help governments to foresee and react to crises before they turn into emergencies.
The UAE has spent $65 million in response to humanitarian aid in 2017 to 91 countries including Bangladesh, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan. Last year, $9.8 million went to Bangladesh, of which $6.8 million was spent on shelter alone. The UAE has sent out 13 flights with aid, carrying 1,300 tonnes of water, health, food and telecommunications to Bangladesh.