The theme of this year’s conference is "The Sustainability of Emergency Aid: The Intensifying Search for the Appropriate Strategies, Methodologies and Resources to Meet the Global Humanitarian Challenges in the Years Ahead."
Princess Haya gave the keynote speech at DIHAD to an audience of dignitaries and leading officials from the humanitarian sector, following which she toured the exhibition and visited the stands of a number of leading local and international humanitarian organisations, NGOs, and charitable foundations.
In a speech delivered on behalf of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in Al Dhafra Region, Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, Dr. Hamdan Musallam Al Mazrouie said, "The importance of the 15th edition of the DIHAD Conference and Exhibition stems from the fact that it discusses a vital issue related to sustainability in emergency aid through constructing smart and strategic partnerships among our organisations that take into consideration the requirements of the international humanitarian arena, addressing future challenges and defining priorities in the realisation of the desired human development.
"The UAE was the first to realise the importance of the intensive efforts to strengthen the implications and goals of humanitarian action and make it more comprehensive, efficient and effective on the ground. With the aim of achieving these implications, the UAE has undertaken several initiatives that have contributed to the achievement of substantial growth rates in humanitarian, relief and development works.
"Our gathering today, under the umbrella of DIHAD, is a significant juncture in the enhancement of the march of humanitarian and relief aid locally and globally. It would also create a qualitative shift through joint efforts to develop the mechanisms of work and movement and co-ordinate programmes and humanitarian stances towards many of the issues that concern human communities and weaken their ability to obtain their basic needs."
Ibrahim Bumelha, Advisor for Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, in his speech, praised the UAE’s contributions to humanitarian projects and its efforts to help alleviate the suffering of tormented and displaced refugees.
"This year, DIHAD’s Committee selected the theme ‘The Sustainability of Emergency Aid: The Intensifying Search for the Appropriate Strategies, Methodologies and Resources to Meet the Global Humanitarian Challenges in the Years Ahead’ in conjunction with the announcement by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan that the year 2018 in the UAE will carry the slogan ‘Year of Zayed’ to translate the feelings of dignity and national pride of the humanitarian legacy of the late founding leader, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to open the door for well-studied institutional, research, and systematic efforts to record and document this legacy as the memory of the nation and the foundation of its moral and human principles.
"Today, we follow the steps of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who built the nation and wrote a new history for the region, which has been witnessing, through his policies, a real awakening that has become a model of growth, development and resources employment to serve humans, so that his legacy becomes a memory of a homeland engraved in the world’s conscience, a memory that has devoted the moral and human values and principles and transformed good and generosity into an approach to follow for successive generations," Bumelha added.
The Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees In the Near East, UNRWA, Pierre Kraehenbuhl said, "In particular, I would like to acknowledge with deep gratitude the strong moral stance of our Arab partners in support of the refugees, which is now more crucial than ever."
The Executive Chairman of DIHAD and DISAB, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, said, "For more than a decade, the DIHAD conference and exhibition has been a focal point of attraction for all humanitarians from the East and West, being an ideal platform for networking and a global umbrella to promote and improve the mechanisms of the humanitarian response to crises and disasters that arise in various parts of the world.
"This year also, we have strived consistently to strengthen and encourage partnerships between all international organisations and associations taking part in DIHAD, in an initiative to assist and support by all means those who are less fortunate. DIHAD hosts this year more than 600 participating organisations, authorities and NGOs from more than 84 countries and is expected to attract over 15,000 visitors and participants."
DIHAD is organised by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions a member of INDEX Holding and is supported by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the United Nations, the Emirates Red Crescent, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the International Humanitarian City, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai and Dubai Cares.