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UAE's support to Yemen embodies its commitment to alleviate other nations' suffering

posted on 29/02/2016: 1322 views

The amount of humanitarian aid provided by the UAE since the beginning of the Yemen crisis, from which the Yemeni people are still suffering, reached around AED744 million, the equivalent of US$202 million, up until August, 2015.

The state has always been diligent in lending a helping hand to the Yemeni people in all circumstances and events, as instructed by its wise leadership led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces .

In 2015, the UAE provided AED430 million in aid to Yemen, of which about AED190 million was allocated to fuel and electric power, about AED110 million to aid and food, AED80 million to medical aid, AED30 million to water supply and sanitation and AED20 million to various relief materials.

Since the start of the crisis in Yemen, specifically over the past three years, the wise leadership instructed the relevant authorities in the state to provide all help and assistance to the Yemeni people, making the UAE one of the first countries to respond to the Yemeni people's humanitarian appeal, helping them overcome their economic, political and social ordeal.

The UAE established air and sea routes to transport food and urgent medical relief supplies, as well as infrastructure support to accommodate those affected by the events and natural circumstances, and to rebuild what has been destroyed by the war in Yemen. In UN reports, the UAE was ranked first globally in terms of providing humanitarian aid to Yemen.

Aid charities in the country contributed to the cause, including the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charitable and Humanitarian Establishment, as well as Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Humanitarian and Scientific Foundation, Suqia UAE Water Aid, Sharjah Charity House and Al Rahma Charity Association, among others.

The number of Yemenis benefiting from food aid, especially that which has been provided by the UAE, has reached about 1.1 million, and the volume of aid is estimated at about 29,000 tons.

Since the beginning of the crisis, the UAE has provided AED314 million in aid for the provision of energy and electricity, repairing the damage in construction, and restoring electric power supply networks vital for the Yemeni people. Also, it has provided about AED188 million in urgent food aid, including grains, oils and preserved foods, among other food supplies.

The UAE aid for emergency medical assistance and medicines has been estimated at around AED122 million, while aid for support and coordination services has been estimated at AED46 million; aid to provide clean and drinking water and sanitation services at AED41 million and fuel aid at AED14 million, in addition to AED12 million in aid for a variety of relief materials and AED7 million for transport services.

Thus, the UAE has ranked first globally as the largest donor of humanitarian aid throughout the Yemeni crisis so far, in response to the current humanitarian situation, just as it was one of the first countries responding to the crisis, according to UN international organisations. Humanitarian aid authorities in the UAE played a key role in extending relief to those affected by the current humanitarian situation by providing commercial airplanes and ships to carry various kinds of relief.

The UAE also made every effort to deliver aid to the Yemeni people, including sending planes to drop relief aid in Aden, and succeeding in dropping more than 55 tons of aid materials as its humanitarian response to those affected by the crisis. These materials included 36 tons of food stuff, as well as 19 tons of medical supplies.

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said that this aid "came within the scope of the humanitarian aid programme that provided in its first phase food, medicines and medical supplies to improve the humanitarian and health conditions of our Yemeni brothers," and expressed the UAE's full commitment towards the brotherly people of Yemen.

The UAE provided several ships loaded with relief aid to Yemen to support the humanitarian situation there, despite the difficulties it encountered in doing so.

In international meetings held to help Yemen, the UAE pledged AED100 million to help relieve the suffering of those affected by the events in Yemen. This pledge reflects the value of brotherhood to which the UAE is committed, and its continued efforts to coordinate with various actors and the countries concerned in mitigating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and to exchange views on the matter to ensure that aid is delivered to those affected.

Towards the end of August 2015, and under the directive of the wise leadership, the Emirates Red Crescent launched a major month-long campaign to support the humanitarian situation in Yemen and to help about 10 million people affected by the crisis, under the slogan "#Yemen: We Care," through which it drummed up support for its programmes and projects directed at those affected by the events in Yemen to alleviate their suffering.

The campaign received an overwhelming response from community bodies and from individual benefactors and businessmen. H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, said the campaign reflects the concern that the leadership and the people have for the humanitarian conditions in Yemen, and also portrays the strength of the fraternal relations and eternal ties joining the two brotherly peoples of Yemen and the UAE.

The Emirates Red Crescent raised AED300 million to help Yemen and promote its relief and development programmes in the country, as well as in raising AED50 million for the Suqia UAE Water Aid initiative.

At the end of October 2015, the ERC announced that it had delivered relief and humanitarian aid to about 644,000 Yemeni people in Aden and its directorates and neighbouring cities 91,987 Yemeni families comprising 643,909 members in total.

The Emirates Red Crescent also distributed 77,987 food parcels among the suffering families in different districts of the Aden governorate, and delivered 7,500 food parcels to Yemenis in the Bab al-Mandab area.

A report by the Emirates Red Crescent stated that it had deployed nine ships from ports in the UAE, via direct marine route, before the liberation of Aden, and three ships after the liberation, and that these ships transferred 18,322 tons of various relief supplies and equipment for the maintenance, reconstruction and renovation of public facilities in the governorate of Aden. It also deployed 85 trucks through Saudi Arabian territory, loaded with 31,000 food parcels.

The total value of the consignments was AED63 million. The Emirates Red Crescent also deployed two planes carrying 103 tons in food parcels and school bags to be distributed amongst Yemeni families in the governorate of Aden and its surrounding areas.

The ships sent by the Emirates Red Crescent to the port of Aden unloaded shipments of food and diverse relief supplies, clothing, car fuel, medical equipment, educational and health equipment, water pumps, generators and sewage pumps, on which the ERC is currently working for maintaining and rehabilitating, as well as installing equipment for various infrastructure projects and providing 14 vehicles of different sizes.

In the field of educational projects in Aden, the Emirates Red Crescent is working on the reconstruction and restoration of 154 schools. In 123 of these schools, it has completed restoration work and maintenance, rehabilitated the facilities and equipped them with office appliances and educational facilities so that they can start receiving students who have enrolled in various grades in Aden and its directorates. The ERC also distributed school bags and stationery to the students who started the new school year. The value of the aid provided for educational projects and reconstruction has reached AED81.3 million.

For the rehabilitation and maintenance of power projects in Aden, the Emirates Red Crescent raised AED220 million, in addition to providing new electric generators for these plants as direct aid from the UAE. The ERC is working to end the problems of power cuts in the city of Aden through maintaining and restoring a number of the power plants owned by the Public Electricity Corporation. These projects have restored electricity in 90 percent of the city of Aden, thus bringing back to normal life in various cities of the governorate and restoring economic activity in markets and at shops.

The ERC is also implementing a project to restore the sewage system in Aden at a cost of AED6 million. The project will be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, the authority will be supplying sewage pumps with their electric panels, and the second phase will witness the installation of these pumps and restoration of sewage networks, in addition to supporting the municipality of Aden in environmental sanitation and cleaning all districts and residential areas in Aden, as well as allocating AED4.5 million for the purchase of vehicles.

The ERC's plan also includes the maintenance and rehabilitation of some 14 health institutions (five large hospitals and nine clinics) in the province of Aden. The aid provided for health projects in Aden is about AED48.5 million.

AED4 million raised by ERC will be used as a down payment for the purchase of drug treatments for cancer and kidney dialysis treatment, in addition to other medical supplies, and AED5 million will be allocated for the purchase of ambulances, transport vehicles and the transportation of medicines. The Restoring Hope Hospital recently opened in Rumah district, after the ERC had restored it, and now offers outstanding health services, free treatment and emergency services for the people of Rumah and neighbouring areas.

This project is of great importance, being located amid the directorates of the desert strip and on the international road linking Yemen and the Gulf states. It is one of the medical projects that the ERC is working on implementing, as well as being part of the initiative to rebuild infrastructure in the governorates of Hadramout and Mahara.

The Emirates Red Crescent also continues to work on restoration, preparation and afforestation of the Corniche in Aden, at a cost of AED4 million. The ERC is working on the restoration of eight gardens, one in each of Aden's eight directorates. AED16 million have been allocated for this project, which also includes the maintenance of the garden's passageways and planting trees, in addition to the installation of children's playgrounds, while others have been restored.

Other projects implemented by the Emirates Red Crescent, to aid families of the martyrs and the disabled in Aden, include the construction of shops and fully-equipped plumbing workshops, as well as projects to provide medical equipment to Al Fayda Hospital and food parcels to thousands of families in Mahara. The ERC has also provided aid to 3,266 Yemeni families and dispatched several planes loaded with tons of relief supplies to the island of Socotra to help the victims of Cyclone Chapala. Furthermore, in October 2015 the Emirates Red Crescent signed an agreement with the Yemeni government allowing the authority to manage and organise the distribution of relief aid in Yemen.

The agreement defines ERC's role in building and developing the capacities of workers in the relief committee and describes a partnership to promote efforts on both sides for the management and organisation of relief aid, and benefiting from the UAE's wide experience in this field.

In the area of water supply, the ERC has devised a plan for the maintenance and restoration of 40 wells feeding a main water station in Aden which services 450,000 people, or about half of the province's population of 1 million inhabitants.

The ERC was also able to bring more than 15,000 tons of various relief supplies into Yemeni territories through dispatching 9 vessels and a number of road convoys. In addition, it has improved electricity services through the restoration of stations and with the use of energy-saving materials at some important facilities.

Additionally, many projects have been implemented at the direction of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU), Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and the Honorary President of the ERC.

Sheikha Fatima's initiatives, which are being implemented in Yemen by the ERC, aim to improve maternal and child health services throughout the country, including health, education, water services, and electricity, developing capabilities of those Yemeni women who were affected the most by the tribulations, as well as supporting issues involving disabled people, among other humanitarian projects.

Sheikha Fatima instructed the ERC to implement the projects within tight deadlines. The objective of these projects is to provide necessary care for women and children and ease their suffering, which has been exacerbated by the current crisis. Sheikha Fatima's initiative comes as part of her many humanitarian efforts to aid victims of disasters and crises, improve their lives and protect their human dignity.

Sheikha Fatima's initiative in Yemen includes providing the necessary aid to implement 15 projects in Aden and neighbouring provinces, including health, education and social projects, as well as projects in the water, electricity and energy sectors, in addition to projects that support women, rehabilitate disabled people, and improve housing services in remote areas.

Among these projects is one to provide aid for the Al Tawahi Obstetrics Centre and the women's centre in Crater, as well as the faculty of Social Sciences and the Trade Institute in Khormaksar and the technical college. Other projects include aid to the Society for Autistic Children and early intervention for the disabled, as well as the society for the mentally handicapped and the society for the deaf and mute. Among programmes that aim to empower Yemeni women are projects to support women's associations on the coast, support productive families, sewing projects and developmental services.

Other projects include improving water and electricity services in the villages of Qawa and Mashhour by drilling wells and building a water network for the two villages, as well as providing alternative energy through the use of solar panels. Additional projects aim to improve housing services in remote areas and mobile communities, and to support the settlement of nomadic families and Bedouins. Other projects aimed to renovate, maintain and furnish student housing in the Shabwa province of Yemen to improve the health, educational and housing services for those affected by the crisis.

The Emirates Red Crescent launched a project to build 50 dams in the directorate of Rasd to collect rain water and benefit from it year-round. It also launched a project to assist associations that help people with disabilities.

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation also implemented several initiatives in Yemen during 2015, sending more than 20 cargo aircraft and 9 ships carrying thousands of tons of relief supplies to the Yemeni people. It has stepped up its aid to Socotra, which was hit by Cyclone Chapala last year, affecting a large number of the population. The foundation took the initiative to help house them and continuously works to provide these people with all necessary relief aid.

An official source in the organisation said that about 16 planes had landed in Socotra as of the end of November, carrying 12,000 tons of food to help the people affected by Chapala, in addition to the hundreds of tons of drugs that have been supplied to the Khalifa bin Zayed Hospital on Socotra Island, which the organisation built in His Highness's honour to help the people of the island receive medical care.

The Khalifa Foundation has provided the people of Socotra with 300 barrels of diesel fuel. A team from the foundation restored Al Zahra Secondary School for Girls in Socotra, which suffered serious damage from hurricane force storms Chapala and Meg. The foundation also bought a new power generator for the school, which is the largest school on the island, with more than 1,200 students studying in two shifts: a day shift and a night shift. In late November 2015, the foundation provided the city of Aden with a relief aid ship carrying 3,000 food items. This ship was sent as part of the maritime and air relief by the Khalifa Foundation to provide aid to Yemen and help in alleviating the suffering of the brotherly people of Yemen, who are enduring severe food shortages as a result of the unfortunate events taking place there. This initiative has shipped thousands of tons of food, rations, medicines and medical supplies to Yemen.

The foundation built the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital in Socotra to help the island's population receive medical care. The hospital is built on an area of about 1,470 square meters and features men's and women's patient wings, as well as large and small operating rooms, intensive care units, OBGYN sections, premature birth section, emergency section, SR radiation device, as well as modern, integrated equipment for surgery and nursing services, as well as a large pharmacy.

The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hospital serves a large segment of the population of Socotra and its neighbouring areas, as its outpatient clinics receive an average of 123 patients every day, and the OBGYN section receives about 55 cases per day, which shows the vital role played by the hospital in caring for Yemeni women.

The hospital contributes to the improvement of the level of medical and therapeutic services in Socotra and its neighbouring areas, and compensates for the suffering of its inhabitants, who previously had to transport sick family members to hospitals in other Yemeni cities. This initiative decreases the burden inflicted by financial losses that weigh them down and strain their standards of living.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Foundation has also made efforts in Yemen, as it provided food and emergency medical assistance to the Yemeni people in order to alleviate their suffering and heal their wounds, and to comfort them in their grief and improve their humanitarian situation.

Chancellor Ibrahim Boumelha, Advisor to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Foundation, said that food aid provided by the organisation includes 238 tons of basic food items, and he explained that these had been shipped by sea to expedite their distribution to the needy and to participate in urgent humanitarian relief efforts there. These food items were distributed as food parcels delivered to more than 13,500 families.

The foundation also shipped food from Port Rashid to the port of Aden to help provide immediate relief to the Yemeni people. The volume of relief aid shipments provided by the foundation amounted to 505 tons shipped by sea to expedite the distribution to the needy and to participate in urgent humanitarian relief efforts there. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


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