Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, was designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 2007. In this role, she focused on raising global awareness of UN Millennium Development Goals, like the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty. As a chairperson of the International Humanitarian City, Princess Haya recently visited Haiti to oversee an airlift of aide to help the country after hurricane Matthew caused devastating destruction in early October. Working with the World Food Programme, an official member of the IHC, Princess Haya helped to move almost 100 tons of supplies to the grief stricken country.
The International Humanitarian City is one of the twenty eight entities that make up Sheikh Mohammed Global Initiatives. The IHC is a non-profit, independent free-zone authority mandated to facilitate international humanitarian aid. Having nine UN agencies and almost fifty NGOs within their member pool, the IHC enables these aid agencies to reach victims of crises and help those suffering of hunger and poverty. Princess Haya noted that Sheikh Mohammed’s creation of the IHC is a testament to his vision of making the UAE a place of outreach, understanding, and tolerance.
Commitment to global humanitarian causes and outreach are values shared by the US and UAE. Both countries are united in their efforts to deliver assistance to areas of crises and eradicate the world of extreme poverty and hunger. With a similar outlook on humanitarian efforts, the UAE has provided support on several occasions to US communities in need of aid and reconstruction after devastating natural disasters. The UAE has provided the US with disaster-relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, and the 2011 tornado that destroyed the town of Joplin, Missouri.
In 2013, Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba received the Distinguished Diplomatic Service Award on behalf of the World Affairs Council for his work in strengthening US and UAE relations as well as the extraordinary amount of support the UAE provided following Hurricane Sandy and the tornado in Joplin, Missouri. Under the Ambassador’s leadership, the UAE continues to aid in recovery and reconstruction efforts around the world and in the US, which only solidifies the country’s consistent and long-standing track record of philanthropy and charitable assistance.