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UAE pledges Dh500m in aid to Yemen

posted on 24/06/2012: 1461 views



The UAE has launched a donation campaign to help Yemen in a time of national crisis. The multi tasked campaign includes a telethon to be conducted on June 29.

The campaign is aimed at providing aid and food supplies to the nation struck by near catastrophic food shortages throughout the country.

The Red Crescent Authority (RCA) announced on Saturday the launch of a campaign to raise additional money to support Yemen.

RCA's campaign will be launched on June 29, in cooperation with the Khalifa Bin Zayed Humanitarian Foundation and the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Foundation.

"Plans are already in place to begin collecting donations in ten RCA branches and over 200 locations across the Emirates, including shopping malls and supermarkets. In addition to financial donations, food, clothing and other needed items will be collected,” Fahd Abdul Rahman, Deputy Secretary General for Resource Development at the Red Crescent told Gulf News.

"An official delegation from RCA is ready to go to Yemen to conduct a field study to determine the needs and urgencies, and to put in place plans to prioritise meeting the needs of the Yemeni people,” he added.

An official from the UAE Armed Forces told Gulf News that the Armed Forces are ready to provide aeroplanes to airlift food and urgently needed material to Yemen whenever required.

Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammad Salem Basindwa expressed his gratitude over the announced assistance.

"The Yemenis are grateful to UAE's move to reach out to them in these times of difficulties,” said Basindwa.

Participants in the Friends of Yemen meeting that took place in May, and which included many world countries, pledges to raise US$4 billion (about Dh140 billion) for development and humanitarian projects in the country.

At least 10 million Yemenis, some 44 per cent of the population, do not get "enough food to eat and one in three children was severely malnourished, "the delegates at the Friends of Yemen meeting were told.

Near famine

The United Nations said that the food crisis has reached a catastrophic level in Yemen, where over half a million people have been displaced. Highly affected are children, many of whom are nearing famine.

"In children under five, 58 per cent are severely malnourished. We are at the stage where we will see a famine like in the Horn of Africa, unless we intervene now,” Geert Cappelaere, Director of Unicef's operations in Yemen, told Gulf News.

Earlier this month, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has approved Dh500 million in aid to Yemen.

The funds are committed to buy important food items such as sugar, cooking oil, baby milk powder, canned food or rice, and distribute it directly among the hungry and needy people of Yemen.

Distribution outlets in different regions in Yemen are being set up to expedite delivery to where its most needed. – Gulf News

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