Abu Dhabi, 23 January 2012: The UAE Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA) launched today a three-day workshop on ‘Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response’ in Abu Dhabi between 23-25 January, held in partnership with the Court of the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, and Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA).
The Arabic-language workshop is being led by three Emirati trainers who were among 17 trainers formally accredited by the Sphere project following OCFA’s Training of Trainers event in January 2011. The three trainers, Ms. Aisha Salem Al Badwawi, Mr. Humaid Rashid Al Shamsi, Ms. Amna Mohammed Al Ansari, have conducted several trainings inside and outside the UAE.
“OCFA is grateful to the Court of the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region, the UAE Red Crescent Authority, and the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) for their cooperation with us by making their staff available to train their colleagues from other donor organizations. This workshop is a concrete realization of OCFA’s goal to enable the effective transfer of skills between the international aid community and the UAE foreign aid sector,” said H.E. Hazza Mohammed Al Qahtani, OCFA Director-General.
“We have conducted workshops based on the Sphere Project in the past that aimed at improving the quality of foreign aid delivery and familiarizing local aid workers with internationally recognized standards. Building a local corps of skilled and sophisticated Emirati trainers, which is part of the strategic plan of the federal government 2011-2013, and a comprehensive training and capacity building plan, will ensure the long-term sustainability of this effort where knowledge will be transferred to future generations.”
Speaking at the event, one of the trainers, Ms. Aisha Salem Al Badwawi said, “By contributing to events like this, it is our hope that the UAE will become a center of excellence for the training on issues relating to foreign aid and humanitarian response, as well as delivering the best possible assistance to those in need”.
A second trainer, Mr. Humaid Rashid Al Shamsi, said, “I am pleased to be able to share the skills that I have learned with colleagues from among the UAE’s Foreign aid community. This training is also an opportunity to learn from other humanitarian professionals here in the UAE, and work with these aid organisations to deliver assistance according to international standards”.
Ms. Amna Mohammed Al Ansari said, “It is extremely gratifying to have the opportunity to work with colleagues who graduated from the Sphere Training of Trainers course with me over a year ago, and I look forward to building equally lasting relationships with the participants at this event which is specialized in humanitarian response”.
Participants in the highly interactive workshop include senior managers of UAE-based humanitarian organizations. The workshop agenda features a series of sessions across a three-day program covering an introduction to the Sphere Project, disaster management and the Humanitarian Charter and Code of Conduct. Other sessions will focus on the minimum standards of the Sphere project relating to water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion, food security and nutrition, shelter, settlements and non-food items, and health actions.
OCFA was established by Cabinet Decree to support UAE foreign aid donors improve their delivery of humanitarian and development programmes worldwide. With HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, presiding as the office’s President, OCFA is assessing foreign aid donor needs; providing appropriate training programmes and knowledge transfers; and, building and strengthening ties between the UAE foreign aid sector and the international aid community by providing multiple platforms that bring international and local aid organizations together.
About The Sphere Project
The Sphere Project is a voluntary initiative that brings a wide range of humanitarian agencies together around a common aim - to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and the accountability of humanitarian actors to their constituents, donors and affected populations. Visit www.sphereproject.org.
For more information, please contact:
Fadwa Qourah Hadid
Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid (OCFA)
Tel: +971 2 6544407
Mobile: +971 55 9463027