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DIHAD focusing on ‘humanitarian challenges of the future’

IRIN's stand at DIHAD. Emmanuel Dunseath/IRIN

A three-day humanitarian exhibition and conference getting underway in Dubai on 8 April promises to bring together more than 300 aid agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and companies supplying goods and services for disaster response operations, humanitarian aid projects and development programmes.

Supported by the UAE Red Crescent Society, the UN and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the fifth annual Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development (DIHAD) Conference and Exhibition will be a platform for specialists to discuss humanitarian threats the world could face by 2020: climate change, resource scarcity, pandemics, nuclear incidents and even asteroids.

According to organisers Index Conferences and Exhibitions Organisation (Index), the event will examine persistent operational problems and new dimensions to potential crises.

Delivering the keynote address at DIHAD on 8 April will be Sir John Holmes, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator and head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

OCHA will hold a pre-conference workshop on 7 April (World Health Day) entitled ‘Introduction to the Humanitarian Response System’ while there will be three UN-hosted side events on water and sanitation, telecommunication innovations and their humanitarian impacts, and humanitarian aid and environmental emergencies.

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