The Italian Government handed over the chairmanship of the Group of Friends of UNHRD to the Spanish Government on 18 June 2018. Also promoted by the Government of Panama, the event was the opportunity to celebrate the 18th anniversary of UNHRD.
Launched in 2015 by the Italian Government, the Group of Friends of UNHRD brings together donors, partners and other actors who aim to raise awareness on the role of UNHRD in the global humanitarian architecture and who recognize the need to invest in emergency preparedness and response to ensure a sustainable UNHRD Network. 
The WFP Executive Director David Beasley thanked the Group of Friends of UNHRD for their unwavering support. “The support of the UNHRD network is vital to our ability to respond quickly and efficiently to emergencies around the world. WFP and our humanitarian partners are immensely appreciative of the practical support and friendship of the Group of Friends of UNHRD”, said David Beasley. 

Ambassador Pierfrancesco Sacco, Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN in Rome, handed over the chairmanship of the Group of Friends of UNHRD and stressed proudly that Brindisi was able to anticipate the requirements of humanitarian interventions in a changing and even more complex international scenario. 
Taking over the chairmanship, Ambassador Jesús Manuel García Aldaz, Permanent Representative of Spain to the UN in Rome, said: “The logistic base in Las Palmas is always ready and strategically positioned to assist in any emergency, particularly in Africa. The spirit of the Agenda 2030 requires innovation and the establishment of transformative partnerships, including with the private sector and universities.”
Ms. Angelica Jacome, Permanent Representative of Panama, said: ‘Through its Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance, which will host UNHRD, the Government of Panama offers the world, the region and its partners a unique platform aimed at providing a more effective and efficient humanitarian response in order to save lives, change lives and leave no one behind’.
Following the handover ceremony, an exhibit dedicated to the history and activities of UNHRD and of its innovation Lab was opened to the Executive Board members and to WFP staff to last throught the annual sessione of WFP Executive Board. 

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