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Emirates Red Crescent pledges initial Dh1m for Typhoon Haiyan victims

posted on 14/11/2013: 3053 views

A Red Crescent team has left for the Philippines to assess the damage and what aid can be provided to typhoon victims.

The charity has budgeted Dh1 million for immediate relief.

"The team will study the situation and send us their requirements,” said Dr Mohamed Ateeq Al Falahi, secretary general of Emirates Red Crescent.

"We will send other teams to cooperate with the Philippines Red Crescent. We have a budget of Dh1m for the first phase. There could be phase two, three and so on.”

Dr Al Falahi said this aid was on top of the Dh37m for relief efforts ordered by the President, Sheikh Khalifa.

The three-member team left yesterday and will proceed from Manila to the typhoon-affected areas.

Dr Al Falahi was speaking at a meeting in Dubai yesterday at which about 25 charities discussed ways to coordinate assistance to the needy here and abroad.

They agreed to set up an electronic database of beneficiaries and an operations room for disasters.

"We want an electronic portal for all of us to work together,” said Mohammed Al Zarouni, manager of the Red Crescent's office in Dubai.

"If somebody takes money from one charity, his details will be filled in online and can be seen by other charities.”

He said this would avoid assistance being given to the same individual by different charities. Funds are generally disbursed for medical, education, food and housing needs.

The portal is expected to be ready by the end of next year.

Mr Al Zarouni said an operations room in the UAE would help provide quick and detailed information on humanitarian crises.

"We need to have an operations room for information on each disaster,” he said.

"We need to have all the statistics, like the location, how many people died, etc., that all organisations can access.”

Aid agencies said a website with details of beneficiaries would help them work better.

"Money should go to the right people,” said Ali Khalfan Al Mansoori, director of charitable institutions at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department.

"All locals and non-locals have an Emirates ID. Their details will be filled on the portal and it can be accessed by everyone.”

Shaima Al Zarooni, chief executive of International Humanitarian City, a logistics hub for humanitarian aid in Dubai, said the meeting would enable better coordination.

"The UAE is providing different resources to each NGO. It is for us to discuss how can we put all the resources together and help people.” – The National


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