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First UAE relief plane arrives in Iran

posted on 29/12/2003: 673 views

The first UAE relief plane carrying 30 tons of relief supplies and a team from the Red Crescent Society, RCS, landed in Iran Kerman yesterday as part of a swift UAE reaction to provide emergency relief supplies to victims of the earthquake that devastated the Iranian city of Bam.

The airlift was ordered by President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It also comes under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and RCS' Chairman.

In remarks upon arrival, Dr. Saleh Mousa Al Taie, Director of Relief and Emergency Department said the relief supplies consist of foodstuff, medical supplies, tents and blankets to be distributed to the needy at their temporary dwellings. He added that the RCS delegation would hold meetings with the Iranian RCS and other concerned authorities to assess the needs of the quake victims with the aim of purchasing them from the local market. He pointed out that while the RCS would seek the purchase of relief items from the local market, blankets and medical supplies will continue to be airlifted from the UAE.

Al Taie added that the UAE team will visit the quake stricken areas and also meet the survivors and the wounded in hospitals so as to get a first hand view of the calamity that had befallen Bam. While the RCS delegation will continue to distribute relief to the distressed, it will also condole, on behalf of the UAE people, families who had lost their loved ones in the tragedy, said Al Taie.

He added that the UAE's RCS was the first humanitarian organisation in the Arab region to arrive in Iran due to its proximity to the scene of the disaster and also due to its vast experience in providing aid to afflicted areas in the past. Recent relief missions undertaken by the UAE's RCS include Algeria, Turkey, India and Iran. The RCS is participating for the third time in providing aid to victims of an earthquake in Iran. The RCS has done so previously when the country was hit by earthquakes, the last of which was last year when three relief plans were sent. Meanwhile, the efforts of the UAE's RCS received commendation from Iranian and international relief officials.

Mahdi Mousavi, Director of Iranian RCS praised the swift response of the UAE to provide aid to the victims. He particularly praised the prompt response of the RCS to identity the needs of the victims, especially medicines, tents and blankets which are badly needed. The RCS also received similar commendations from MSF teams who arrived from France. The teams expressed their admiration of the UAE humanitarian efforts worldwide. They also expressed their readiness to cooperate with the RCS. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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