Press Release

Wow; what a tight squeeze!

AidEx and Development2030 were held in Brussels on November 17-18, just 4 days before Belgium and some other EU countries introduced more special measures to prevent large gatherings and counter the further spread of Covid.

Every effort had been taken to keep participants safe as they took part in Europe’s only physical events for the aid and development sector during 2021.

With 1,262 on site attendees over the two days, the show felt really busy. There was a significant buzz of excitement as professionals from the sector came together to meet each other in person for the first time in almost two years. Two conferences were held to consider further reductions in the space for civil society and the impact of Covid-19 on achieving the UN SDGs. 22 different sessions were held with more than 60 speakers and a myriad of different workshops and ancillary meetings also took place throughout the two days.

Notable conference speakers included: David Miliband, CEO of International Rescue Committee; Flemming Møller Mortensen, Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Minister for Nordic Cooperation; Jadranka Vukovic-Johnsson, Head of Sector for Youth Programmes at European Commission; Preet Kaur Gill, UK Shadow Secretary of State for International Development; Bettina Stix, Founder of Disaster Relief by Amazon and Sinead Walsh, Climate Envoy & Deputy Director General of Irish Aid and Africa at Irelands Department of Foreign Affairs.

As usual, at the end of the first day there was a networking reception that was very well attended and presentation of many different awards including some for the first time ever. This year, we had four awards for AidEx and two for Development2030. There were 47 entries for this year’s Humanitarian Hero Award and over 2,500 votes were cast. We also had 55 entries for the brand-new Young Humanitarian Hero Award. Development2030 awards included Sustainable Initiative of the Year Award and CSR Programme of the Year Award.

This year’s winner of the Humanitarian Hero Award was Dahabo Abagaro Bagajo, a registered midwife who works in rural Kenya to promote maternal child health and alleviate their suffering. And the winner of the 2021 AidEx Innovation Challenge was GrowStream™, a subsurface microporous irrigation system that has the highest water efficiency of any current irrigation method.

Moving with the times, AidEx and Development2030 also incorporated some important new virtual elements including a business matchmaking platform that enabled exhibitors and visitors to arrange meetings at the event before it had started. There had been substantial coverage on social media; mainly Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook as well as extensive film footage of both conferences soon to be available on YouTube.

Participants came from 46 countries this year and exhibitors included: UNHCR; CAS; Hospitainer; Evenproducts; The European Commission; Spanish Kits; Kuehne + Nagel; Maersk; Oxfam; Scan Global Logistics; US Commercial Service; Zhendre; Labaronne Citaf; Hungary Helps; Save the Children UK; Caritas; Cairdrop and Bollore Logistics to name but a few.

Many of our exhibitors have already rebooked their stands for 2022 which will be held at Brussels Expo on November 16-17.

We hope to see you there as well.

Special thanks to all our speakers, exhibitors and attendees as well as this year’s headline sponsors:

Qatar Charity for AidEx and Amazon for Development2030.


For more information contact:

Nicholas Rutherford, Event Director, AidEx and Development2030