Princess Haya: If We Don’t Help The Hungry, ‘We Lose Our Humanity’
The royal calls for urgent action on tackling poverty around the globe.
Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai, the royal told attendees more than 800 million people around the world still suffer from hunger.
“The poor and the hungry do not think about anything but how to gain their daily bread,” said HRH, who is also chairwoman of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City.
“If we don’t move on that then we lose our humanity, something that is worse than the disaster itself.”
Watched on by her husband, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Princess Haya warned the crowd that even more people will be displaced in the near future.
Stating around 50 million people are expected to be forced from their homes due to war and climate change in the next 10 years, HRH called for innovation to address such poverty.
“We have to move away from conventional ways of providing aid,” she said, adding that a data bank to allow governments to document their humanitarian work could be a solution.
“Our plan of action on a humanitarian level will start by putting an end to hunger and then fighting poverty through innovation and transparency.”
Princess Haya praised the UAE’s new food bank initiative, launched as part of the country’s Year of Giving, saying it was a step in the right direction towards eliminating hunger.
“Reports show that current food waste is worth US$2.6 trillion, which can feed three times the world’s population, including the 800 million hungry people,” she said.
Adding that the UAE was one of the biggest foreign aid donors in 2015, Princess Haya said contributions would continue throughout 2017.
“The UAE gave Dhs32 billion in aid [in 2015],” she said. “The UAE will continue in line with the Year of Giving to be one of the most humanitarian countries in the world.
“The goal of our leadership is clear, which is to build a future city of security and humanitarian. It is our responsibility, it is our humanity that future generations will hold us accountable for.”
Princess Haya, the humanitarian
The royal is a woman of her words, having only this week given US$39.5 million (Dhs145m) to fight hunger and poverty in Jordan.
Tkiyet Um Ali, the non-profit that Princess Haya made the sizeable donation towards, was established by the royal herself in 2003.
The charity was based on an idea by the late Queen Alia, and provides hot meals and food parcels to Jordan’s underprivileged.
This isn’t the first time Princess Haya has devoted time and money to a worthy cause, either.
The royal personally supervised the delivery of Dhs1.29 million of aid to Haiti, after the country was devastated by a deadly tropical cyclone last October.
Transported on a plane personally owned by Sheikh Mohammed, Princess Haya manned the distribution of supplies including water purification units, mosquito nets, medical supplies, tents and other support equipment.
Image: Dubai Media Office