Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, IHC, embraced World Humanitarian Day celebrations on Monday, welcoming more than 100 humanitarian workers and partners to spotlight the achievements and attributes women bring to global humanitarian action.
Every day, more than half a million humanitarians – 40 percent of which are women – work on the frontline of war and disaster to help people in crises.
The IHC event started with a moment of silence to honour fallen heroes who lost their lives working on the front lines, followed by a panel discussion comprised of female humanitarian representatives from the World Food Programme, WFP, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and the Fred Hollows Foundation.
The discussion was moderated by Sophie Barbey, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, ICRC, mission in the UAE. As thepeakers shared personal tales from their experiences on the field, guests were able to reflect on the challenges faced and ways to provide relief in the midst of wars, conflicts, and natural disasters.
Giuseppe Saba, CEO of IHC, remarked, “World Humanitarian Day brings us together, not just to raise the public’s awareness of our aid work, but to support each other. It is also an opportunity to honour and remember our colleagues and friends who time and again selflessly rally in crises. They are the unsung heroes we celebrate today.”
Commenting on the significance of the day, Mageed Yahia, Director of the UN WFP Office in the UAE, WFP Representative to the GCC and Acting UN Resident Coordinator, said that “Every year, on the 19th of August, the humanitarian community stands together to pay tribute to those among them who risk their lives to serve people in need, and highlight the global humanitarian efforts in support of those affected by emergencies and crises around the world. This year, we celebrate Women Humanitarians and shed light on their unwavering perseverance and determination to contribute to the global humanitarian and development movement.”
During the event, guests were also able to explore the relief items on display at the IHC showroom.
These include IHC’s very own “Flash Studio” which is a mobile communications initiative that allows field staff to share real time information with media outlets and the humanitarian community in studio-grade quality live video links during emergencies and disasters.
World Humanitarian Day is held each year on 19th August to commemorate the deaths of 22 people during a bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003.