True to its pioneering spirit, the Dakar is committed to evolving into a more and more responsible rally raid.
An undeniable solidarity dimension from the inception of the rally
The Dakar has always been ahead of its time when it comes to the solidarity dimension that lies at its core. Daniel Balavoine and Thierry Sabine launched "Paris–Dakar, pari du cœur" ("Paris–Dakar, a bet of the heart") in 1985. In response to the severe droughts that had been ravaging the host countries since 1983, the project sought to leverage the logistics of the organisation to bring water pumps and other pieces of equipment to local communities, participate in the construction of long-lasting infrastructures to gain arable land (mainly wells), and help them to advance towards food self-sufficiency through partnerships with seed producers.
Other charitable initiatives have since been put in motion in the same spirit, including support for SOS Sahel (measures to boost the food and health security of local populations), the "Les camions de l'Espoir" ("Trucks of Hope") project during the African Chapter, backing the non-profit Techo in its fight against poverty in Argentina and, more recently in the Middle East, assistance for the Help Center association, which cares for children with physical and mental disabilities.
A lab for cutting-edge technologies since 1979 shifts its focus to the development of alternative engines Technological innovation ranks alongside a sense of adventure, the thirst for discovery and the ambition to push the limits as one of the signature features of the Dakar: throughout its 43 editions to date, the event has regularly doubled as a test bed for new engines and safety devices (e.g. Iritrack, Sarsat beacons, Sentinel system and airbag vests for motorbikes)
True to its pioneering spirit, the Dakar is now committed to evolving into a more and more responsible rally raid. Adamant in its conviction that the race vehicles of today drive the development of the production vehicles of tomorrow and with a focus on the development alternative engines, the Dakar is a lab for cutting-edge technologies. It has also embarked on a plan to dial down the power consumption of the bivouacs.