DAC and DHC merge to create a global relief hub

DAC and DHC merge to create a global relief hub

DUBAI, 8 October 2005: Dubai Holding and the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) today announced the formal agreement to merge Dubai Aid City (DAC) and Dubai Humanitarian City (DHC) creating the biggest aid facilitator of the region and consolidating Dubai as a global humanitarian hub.

The new non-profit entity will be located in the Jebel Ali Free Zone and will provide a full resource centre for international, regional and local relief and development organisations and UN agencies.

"We have joined our platforms because we, along with the Government of Dubai, believe that we can offer better services to all those involved in the aid sector: from international institutions to individual aid workers," said Mohammed Al Gergawi, Executive Chairman of Dubai Holding.

"This new project will be able to equip the entire humanitarian relief system with the capacity to deal with problems they were not capable of dealing before, ultimately placing Dubai on the map as a key humanitarian hub," Al Gergawi added.

"The new centre will help the humanitarian sector globally: from helping international organisations to reduce time and costs of relief campaigns to helping local organisations to work together and train their staff," said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation. "After the fusion of these two entities, we now are able to offer more services and have more capacity to increase our role as a facilitator for the humanitarian sector."

Decrease costs and time
Among many tasks, the new entity will act as a logistics and distribution facilitator for the international aid community. The fusion of both platforms will create an unprecedented infrastructure for disaster management and development operations with vast storage facilities and technologically advanced infrastructure on the one hand, and a substantial range of services on the other. The platform is designed to ultimately decrease the total financial and time costs of international aid campaigns.

"UNICEF welcomes the merger between Dubai Aid City and Dubai Humanitarian City and looks forward to working with the new entity, with the prospect that this will strengthen their partnerships with UN agencies, governments,NGOs, and other development partners, and above all the communities and peoples they serve," said Rima Salah, Deputy Executive Director of the UNICEF, New York. "We wish our partners in Dubai all success in their endeavors and would like to express our utmost support".

The new entity will be active in six divisions:

1. Emergency Preparedness and Response Unit (EPRU): warehousing and storage of relief goods in Free Zone environment, development of emergency crisis rooms and intelligence centre for response to international crises.
2. Procurement Services Centre (PSC): online database of suppliers of goods for the humanitarian and development community.
3. Education Training Centre (ETC): continuous courses for returning field workers and staff of international, regional and local humanitarian organisations.
4. Funds and Donor Coordination Center (FDCC): matching donors with projects or organisations who need funds.
5. Advocacy, Information and Media Centre (AIM): creating awareness of the aid sector.
6. Staff Assistance Centre: with tools for humanitarian staff recruitment database, reasonable vacation packages if they work in the vicinity of Dubai, relocation support, etc

In addition, the new entity will work to create a platform for networking with organisations and individuals inside and outside the humanitarian community. It will work to bring together aid organisations, communities, governments and donors to improve aid services to increase the creation of strategic alliances and joint relief and development programmes. It will also place special emphasis to facilitate projects between local NGOs and achieve maximum beneficial outcome.

"This merger is a step in line with the trend of building effective and active partnerships between humanitarian organizations to encounter the ongoing challenges in the humanitarian area, that require further work, further action and consolidated efforts for a better future of humanity," said Sana'a Darweesh Al Kitbi, Secretary General of UAE Red Crescent. "We therefore confirm the commitment of the Red Crescent towards it and we will not spare any effort or support to assist promoting its mission."