The World Food Programme (WFP) has managed to speed up deliveries of humanitarian aid and react more promptly to the needs of vulnerable groups thanks to being located in the UAE International Humanitarian City (IHC), Director of WFP UAE Mageed Yahia told SputnikDUBAI (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 18th October, 2019) The World food Programme (WFP) has managed to speed up deliveries of humanitarian aid and react more promptly to the needs of vulnerable groups thanks to being located in the UAE International Humanitarian City (IHC), Director of WFP UAE Mageed Yahia told Sputnik.
IHC, located in Dubai close to Al Maktoum Airport and the Jebel Ali Port, was founded by the UAE to provide a free-of-charge platform and warehouses for local and international humanitarian organizations and ease the process of coordinating and delivering humanitarian relief.
"The location for any logistics operation is the best you can get. From here, from Dubai, we can reach one-third of the countries that we operate in a matter of four hours. Two-thirds of the countries that we operate in we can reach in a matter of six hours. Location is one of the Primary advantages that we get here, but, most importantly, the city is very well built. We have an excellent logistics infrastructure the ports, the airports, networks [but] more importantly, [we have] smart solutions in the release and the shipping of goods. This is helping us very much," Yahia, who also serves as the representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council region, said.
WFP's presence in the International Humanitarian City has grown over the years, the WFP UAE director noted.
"Since we started our logistics space here, this has grown up and become today the world's largest humanitarian depot that we have. We have another five depots in South Italy, in Panama, in Accra (Ghana) and in Malaysia, but this one is the biggest because of the facilities that we are getting because of the logistics infrastructure," Yahia added.
The humanitarian city was founded in 2003 and considerably expanded in 2011. It currently hosts numerous UN agencies, such as the WHO and UNICEF, as well as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The IHC functions against the background of the UAE's involvement in the Yemeni crisis. Members of the Saudi-led international coalition, including the UAE, have been carrying air strikes in Yemen to support the country's government, fighting against the rebel Houthi group. Both the coalition and the Houthis have been accused by international organizations and rights groups of committing hostilities against Yemeni civilians.