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Some 2,000 aid experts descended on Brussels last week to exchange ideas and business cards at Aidex 2012.

The humanitarian development event provided an opportunity for logisticians, donors and 200 exhibitors to forge closer partnerships on behalf of beneficiaries worldwide.


Claus Sørensen Claus Sørensen, director-general of the European Commission's humanitarian aid department.Keynote speaker Claus Sørensen, head of the European Commission's aid effort, declared the growth of disasters and subsequent humanitarian crises have been compounded by the global financial debacle. As a result, he called on the aid community to "step up" its efforts to become more efficient and effective in its response.

David Kaatrud, director of emergencies for the World Food Programme, added that while the world has enough resources to help the most vulnerable, the scale and complexity of future disasters means the only effective response will be public/private partnerships.

In a related move, Airport International Group has joined Care by Air – the initiative that provides services to relief and humanitarian organisations at cost.

The Jordanian airport operator unites with its Abu Dhabi counterpart, Etihad Airways, Maximus Air and Aramex in helping to reduce the cost of humanitarian logistics for non-profits, including the UAE Red Crescent Society.

The UAE disbursed a total of $2.11 billion dollars in foreign aid last year. According to its latest report, the government says the top three recipients were Oman, Jordan and Kazakhstan.

Overall, the UAE spent $175 million dollars on humanitarian assistance in 2011, an increase of 54.2 percent over the previous year.

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