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Call for donations to help relief operations in Haiti

posted on 20/01/2010: 1081 views

The UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) has appealed to residents and organisations to generously donate in cash and kind to support the country's relief operations in Haiti.

Under the directives of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, hundreds of tonnes of relief materials will be sent to Haiti's earthquake victims via several humanitarian aid flights this week.

RCA Deputy General Secretary for International Relief and Emergency Dr Salah Moussa Al Taie said residents and organisations could donate money and materials to RCA units across the country. "We have our units in all the emirates. Interested people can contact the respective branches for handing over their donations,” he told Khaleej Times.

People can also hand over their contributions at the RCA counters in various shopping centres and malls in the UAE.

"We prefer people giving money, new clothes, blankets and materials for tents. That's what we need to send from here now,” Al Taie said, urging residents to refrain from donating old clothes.

A team of five RCA officials left Dubai for Dominican Republic on Tuesday morning. "They would reach Dominican Republic by this (Tuesday) evening. From there, the team will head to Haiti for coordinating the relief operations and to assess the need for further humanitarian assistance to the victims,” he said.

Meanwhile, the first aid plane carrying relief materials supplied by RCA in association with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which set off from Panama, reached Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince on Tuesday. Apart from medical staff, it carried 45 tonnes of medicine, food and relief supplies purchased from the local market in coordination with the Federation.

On Thursday, the UAE will send out a relief plane carrying 100 tonnes of aid materials. Al Taie said this is for the first time in the history of the country's humanitarian operations that relief materials on such a big scale are being sent from the UAE. "It will be a special jumbo cargo plane,” he said.

Etihad Crystal Cargo said it would operate a special charter flight to Haiti for Red Crescent and Khalifa Welfare Foundation on Wednesday.

"The MD11 aircraft, which will use its full capacity of 88 tonnes, will first fly to Casablanca and then on to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. The cargo will be unloaded there and taken to neighbouring Haiti,” the company said in a press release.

The charter flight is part of the "Care By Air” initiative, founded by Maximus Air Cargo, Etihad Airways, and Abu Dhabi Airport Services, which provides cargo space at no cost to deliver relief aid to disaster-stricken areas around the world, the release added. – Khaleej Times


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