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Single platform to help the needy

posted on 22/11/2003: 713 views

Humanitarian city hopes to bring together and facilitate organisations working for a cause

The Dubai Humanitarian City (DHC), an independent entity designed to facilitate humanitarian aid effort at a global scale, was recently launched by the Dubai Government. In a world that is riddled with political instability and need, Dubai has taken action to bring together organisations working towards a common objective. Located close to Sheikh Zayed Road and Emirates Road, DHC will spread eventually over 3.6 million square feet and is ideally located halfway between Dubai International Airport and Jebel Ali Port. It is designed to relieve suffering in the region and throughout the world.

Saeed Ali bin Suloom, Director of DHC, spoke to Gulf News and gave an insight into the humanitarian benefits it would bring, as well as the advantages for charities in locating here.

The mere presence of DHC, housing dozens of charity organisations, is expected to provide a spark for numerous collaborative projects and enhance the level of coordination that exists among several humanitarian groups. The centre's main objectives are to provide a single platform from which charities can launch their efforts; facilitate a network of development organisations housed under DHC; allow groups to coordinate activities in a fully operational environment; provide the means for organisations to jointly prepare for emergencies; and to create a system of support and communication that allows for the efficient execution of services to humanitarian organisations.

"The potential of developing a new humanitarian network between UN agencies, independent international organisations, government development departments and non-government entities working for the betterment of a global community is immense," said bin Suloom.

One of DHC's main strengths is the fact that it will enable organisations within this region to strike partnerships. The city aims to attract international establishments that work in the field of food, agriculture, health, children, education, women, research and humanitarian services. All the establishments will be working from one location, allowing for economies of scale and resulting in substantial savings. It will also permit the use of shared service outlets such as conference halls, training programmes and other 'cluster' facilities.

Managers at DHC are determined to be pro-active and dynamic rather than simply being a passive provider of office space.

"There is incredible scope within DHC and as an organisation we plan to fully develop its potential," bin Suloom said. "At DHC, we will nurture communication amongst client organisations while also promoting peace and humanitarian issues." It is designed to focus its sights towards emergency relief and community-based intervention throughout the world. "With the location of leading humanitarian organisations in Dubai, DHC should substantially increase levels of re-export, tourism and the airline industry, along with hosting an increased number of international conferences and workshops," said bin Suloom.

"It will not be part of any existing organisation, instead DHC will be an independent entity launch-ed by Dubai Development and Investment Authority (DDIA) under the directives of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister, and aims to position Dubai as the centre of regional services encompassing the Middle East, North and East Africa and India," bin Suloom said.

He said that construction phase has begun in the DHC, and phase I will be completed by June 2004. He added that by establishing DHC, the humanitarian disasters around the world and particularly in this region will get a more timely response as the United Nations Joint Logistics Centre (UNJLC) will also set up operations there. "UNJLC is a United Nations inter-agency emergency response mechanism, activated for major humanitarian disasters. Its role is to optimise and complement the logistics capabilities of UN agencies and NGOs within a well defined crisis area for humanitarian operations." (The Gulf News)


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