Dubai: Princess Haya Bint Al Hussain, Wife of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, called for the establishment of a data bank for humanitarian logistics at the Humanitarian City in Dubai, and called on all governments to gather data in order to work together in advancing the field of humanitarian assistance.
Princess Haya addressed the issue of humanitarian aid at the World Government Summit, stating that ending world hunger is a political and economic imperative.
She pointed out that more than 65 million people have been displaced from their homes due to conflicts in several regions in the world, including Yemen, Syria and Nigeria.
“UN reports predict that around 250 million people will be subjected to displacement as a result of climate change and war within the next decade,” said Princess Haya.
She referred to the traditional system of aid, which was used to help those affected by the Second World War, as one that is still used today.
Princess Haya further stressed on the need for governments, NGOs, and other organisations to look outside the box, away from traditional methods of aid assistance, and to rely on technology and innovation to speed up humanitarian response times.
“When the UN decided to evacuate their staff from Kabul, UAE was capable of accomplishing the task in three hours,” she said. Princess Haya also referred to the use of drones to deliver aid to remote areas of Africa, as another innovative method of rapid aid response.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), UAE is one of the most generous donors of foreign aid in the world, reporting an increase of 34 per cent in foreign aid in 2015, which reached Dh32 billion, the equivalent of $8.8 billion.
Year of Giving
“The UAE will continue to be in the Year of Giving, one of the most humanitarian countries in the world,” said Princess Haya.
She referred to devastating statistics showing the total amount of required aid in the world has increased to $22 billion, 10 times the amount needed in 2000.
“There are still 800 million people suffering from the worst kind of hunger and poverty. The poor and the hungry do not think about anything but how to gain their daily bread,” said Princess Haya.
She highlighted that the UAE is establishing a state for the future, which embodies innovative solutions for humanitarian aid. She also pointed out the international humanitarian city has become the largest logistical city and fastest in delivering humanitarian services in the world, with more than 50 organisations working under its wing.
On the topic of world hunger, Princess Haya explained the latest UN reports, which show that the amount of wasted food adds up to $2.6 trillion a year, enough to feed the world population three times, including the 800 million people who continue to live in a state of hunger.
“Our plan of action on a humanitarian level will first start by putting a total end to world hunger so that it reaches zero per cent, then fighting poverty through development and transparency,” she added.
Princess Haya praised Shaikh Mohammad for establishing the Emirates Food Bank, which she said is another step contributing to the eradication of world hunger, and encouraged other governments around the world to follow in his footsteps.
“Humanitarian aid is our responsibility; this is humanity,” she said.