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Dubai’s WHO logistics hub: A lifeline for 20 million people in 2023

In 2023, the World Health Organization's (WHO) logistics hub in Dubai has played a pivotal role in providing humanitarian aid worth over $21 million to more than 20 million people affected by various crises.

From the Turkey-Syria earthquake to the Sudan conflict, Libya floods, and the ongoing Yemen crisis, the global logistics center, situated in Dubai's International Humanitarian City, has been at the forefront of emergency response in times of humanitarian disasters.

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According to a report released on Friday, in 2023 alone, the Global Logistics Center facilitated 16 charter flights, delivering a staggering 1,000 metric tons of aid.

This year also marks an unprecedented demand for humanitarian assistance, with over 363 million people worldwide requiring aid, primarily due to disease outbreaks and limited access to essential medicines.

Conflicts, fragile healthcare systems, natural disasters, climate change, and infectious disease outbreaks have pushed more individuals into the crosshairs of health threats.

In response to these intersecting emergencies, the WHO's Global Logistics Center stands at the forefront of humanitarian response, delivering critical health supplies to vulnerable populations.

In-kind operational support, including $4.2 million for emergency air charters, has enabled WHO's health emergency program to bolster its supply chain, ensuring faster delivery to those in need.

The center's demand skyrocketed in 2020, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for over 75 perecent of all PPE dispatched globally by WHO in the first 90 days of the response.

This facility has served 141 countries across all WHO regions, providing a comprehensive range of medical items vital for saving lives. From diagnostic tests to trauma supplies, essential medicines to ambulances, it has become a critical resource for emergency response.

In 2021, the focus shifted from primarily COVID-19 supplies to addressing a broader array of health emergencies, including conflict-related crises, natural disasters, and infectious disease outbreaks.

Notably, in February 2023, when a devastating earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, the WHO Global Logistics Center sprang into action.

Within 72 hours, it delivered 230 metric tons of aid valued at $1.9 million to assist 1.5 million affected individuals.

The center's impact extended to Sudan, where it coordinated four consecutive charter flights delivering $2.8 million in vital health supplies.

Yemen, facing prolonged conflict and healthcare challenges, remains a top priority, with over $8 million in health supplies delivered in 2023.

Today, the logistics hub's dedicated team continues to prepare shipments for Afghanistan, Chad, Sudan, and Yemen.

Recent airlifts also rushed supplies to Libya following catastrophic floods.

By mid-2023, operations at the logistics hub surpassed the total emergency requests received in all of 2020, averaging more than two charter flights per month in support of acute health emergencies.

With over $20 million in health supplies delivered to over 70 countries, the center is on track to make a significant impact on humanitarian assistance in 2023.

Dr. Ahmed al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, expressed gratitude to donors, the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, the Government of Dubai, the Government of the United Arab Emirates, other UN organizations, and WHO country offices for their collaborative efforts in this vital humanitarian mission.

"“The supplies delivered by WHO’s logistics hub in Dubai have been a lifeline for millions across the world," he said.

Since 2018, WHO's logistics hub in Dubai has delivered over 2,000 shipments, totaling 12,000 metric tons, with a value exceeding US$185 million.

Read more:

Humanitarian crises have grown not just in frequency but also in complexity: WFP

IOM says at least 43,000 people displaced by floods in Libya

Libya demands accountability, protest against authorities in flood-hit Derna

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Almarai signs an MoU with the Authority of People with Disabilities to train and employ them.

Almarai Company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Authority of People with
Disabilities to train, qualify and employ persons with disabilities. This came on the sidelines of
the First International Labor Market Conference, organized by the Ministry of Human Resources
and Social Development on December 13 – 14, 2023, at the King Abdulaziz Convention Center
in Riyadh.

The memorandum was signed by the Chief Human Resources Officer of Almarai Company,
Fahad Mohammed Aldrees, and the CEO of the Authority of People with Disabilities, Dr.
Hisham bin Muhammad Al-Haidari.

“This agreement comes within the framework of the company’s social responsibility program, as
Almarai employs more than 500 people with disabilities, which is one of the most suitable work
environments for them.” Fahad Aldrees said. Pointing out that Almarai has the “Silent Line”,
which is one of its production lines that is designated for people with hearing disabilities.

It is worth mentioning that Almarai supports over 300 charity organizations annually across the
kingdom that operate in the field of community development.

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Central Phuket Shopping Center Prepared Surprises This Christmas & New Year 2024

Central Phuket Shopping Center, the luxury lifestyle landmark o Phuket, invites everyone to celebrate Christmas and New Year 2024 in The Great Celebration 2024 Campaign. Joining hands with global partner ‘The Pokémon Company’, Central Phuket bring over Pokémon, the super cute character popular around the world, for all locals and international fans. The special campaign launch presents a procession of cute ‘Pikachu’ alongside with the giant Christmas tree for the first time in Thailand.
This December, Central Phuket prepared many activities for shoppers when visiting Phuket! Experience the “Surprise of the Day” with free Cotton Candy for our little ones, a sweet and fluffy treat, a special gift from Central Phuket. Bring your kids to enjoy this sweet treat every Saturday and Sunday throughout the month of December. Don’t miss the Christmas Carol that
everyone loves, little Santas spread freshness by singing together in the Christmas Carol activity. Plus, Christmas Live Music, the festival of joy is back! Celebrate Christmas in a luxurious and classy atmosphere, enjoying the music that will bring us joy. Also, there will be Christmas Troop, Santa Claus is coming to town! The Santa troop will spread happiness throughout Central Phuket. Lastly, Cake Workshop, workshop activity with Chef Sebastien’s IRON CHEF Thailand teaching how to make Christmas Vanilla Cake. A special activity for the Christmas season. Moreover, Central Phuket provides special promotion exclusively for international tourists throughout December 23 – January 24 including:

1) Get Free! Tourist welcome discount package valued up to THB 10,000.
2) Receive THB 100 Gift voucher when spending up to THB 2,500 per receipt.
3) Get to buy ‘Happy Holiday Collections’ special price: Pokémon 2-in-1 pillow blanket, tumbler, travel bag set, and keychain. Visit redemption counter for the price.
4) Exclusive for Grab Users get discount code up to 25% off* when traveling to participating Central Shopping Centers.
5) Receive famous Elephant Pants when spending over THB 5,000 in shopping center.
6) Get Free! H&M THB 100 gift voucher when booking any accommodations in Phuket with Agoda. Terms and conditions apply.

Central Phuket is a home of global luxury brands such as Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Saint Laurent. Exclusive for this season, Louis Vuitton launches a pop-up store located at Central Phuket. The design is inspired by the story of Damier or Checkerboard, the brand’s signature pattern. This classic pattern was created by Louis
Vuitton and his son Georges Vuitton in 1888 and has always been part of the design of Maison’s iconic items and concepts. Find clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories for men at the Pop-up Store from Louis Vuitton at Central Phuket, 1st floor, from today until 31 March 2024. And with over 500 renowned fashion brands and lifestyle shops ranging from local to international
well-known brands covering all categories, international shoppers will be able to find what they are looking for in Central Phuket.
Central Phuket is located in the heart of one of the world’s most famous beach cities, Phuket and await to welcome both locals and international visitors this holiday. Also, don’t miss one of the most joyful New Year Count Down events in Phuket city at Central Phuket Shopping Center on December 31, 2023.

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Saudi Fund for Development Provides $100 Million Development Loan for the Rogun Hydropower Project

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Chief Executive Officer, H.E. Sultan Al-Marshad, signed a new development loan agreement with the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Kahhorzoda Fayziddin Sattor, through which SFD is contributing $100 million USD to fund the Rogun Hydropower Project, a landmark initiative that will enhance energy,
food, and water security, and foster sustainable development in the country. The signing was attended by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Waleed Al-Reshiadan, and the Ambassador of Tajikistan to Saudi Arabia, H.E. Akram Karimi, alongside other officials from both sides. SFD’s development loan will help contribute towards a more sustainable and equitable food and water future for Tajikistan, while driving the country’s energy transition and climate resilience. The project aims to contribute to the national energy security and will help advance sustainable
development in the Republic of Tajikistan, by providing the renewable electricity supply to meet local demand and expand electricity production domestically and regionally, producing 3600 MW of energy. The loan agreement will also finance the construction of a 335-meter-tall dam, which will enhance irrigation capabilities and bolster agricultural activities across the country. Additionally, the project will improve flood protection through the construction of four hydraulic
tunnels for diversion and drainage. It will also provide clean and drinkable water to people through desalination, and help advance socio-economic development, by creating both direct and indirect jobs.
Importantly, this project also supports the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); specifically, SDG 2, Zero Hunger, SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy.
On this occasion, the CEO of SFD, H.E. Sultan Al-Marshad, said: “Today’s signing marks a major milestone in our shared journey towards a more sustainable future. With this landmark development loan, SFD is not just supporting Tajikistan’s energy future, but also its sustainable development and the well-being of its people. The Rogun Hydropower Project is a beacon of
hope for a bright future that is powered by clean, renewable energy. It will propel Tajikistan towards environmental stewardship and prosperity.”

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