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UAE braces for relief operations in Iraq

posted on 21/03/2003: 773 views

The UAE has started preparations for large-scale relief operations in war-hit Iraq as more aid shipments ordered by President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan were offloaded and distributed to the Iraqis. Officials at the Red Crescent Authority (RCA) said they planned to step up such operations in collaboration with the Red Cross to help the Iraqis during and after the war. Co-ordinated operations were discussed by the two sides during a meeting at the RCA headquarters in Abu Dhabi and officials said they agreed on urgent relief programmes.

"The meeting focused on coordination and cooperation between the two sides in relief operations in Iraq to ease the suffering of the Iraqis," said Saleh Mousa Al Taei, Director of Relief Operations and Emergency at the RCA. "They underlined the serious humanitarian situation in Iraq and the need for concerted efforts by regional and international organisations to prevent any deterioration."

The RCA said it has completed the purchase of large quantities of food from Iraqi markets as part of aid for Iraqis despite what it described as their rocketing prices because of the U.S.-led war. The programme also includes building a water distillation centre in Baghdad to provide drinking water to citizens, and the supply of several power generators as well as milk and other items to hospitals. Another project includes the building of a bakery in Baghdad to provide bread to orphans, widows and other needy people. "The bakery will start production in two days and distribute free bread to all needy families," the RCA said. At the port of Umm Al Qasr, another UAE shipment of food was offloaded and distributed to residents in Basra. (The Gulf News)


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