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Sheikh Mohammed orders urgent humanitarian aid flights to Ethiopia and Sudan


Last updated on September 14, 2021 at 11.49 pm
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Dubai showed once again this week why it is a leading hub of global humanitarian efforts after two emergency aid flights ordered by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, reached Ethiopia and Sudan with materials worth millions of dirhams.

Khaleej Times was part of the second flight to Sudan’s Khartoum International Airport on Monday and witnessed the special mission facilitated by the International Humanitarian City in Dubai (IHC) as the Boeing 747 cargo flights touched down late Monday afternoon with over 100 metric tonnes of aid materials worth over Dh1 million ($281,513).

The first flight left from Dubai International Airport to Addis Ababa on Friday, September 10, ferrying 85 metric tons of medicines, medical items, and cholera kits supplied by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to tackle the cholera outbreak and the ongoing Covid-19 challenges Ethiopia is currently grappling with.

The second flight left Dubai’s Royal Air Wing for the Sudanese capital, carrying around 100 metric tons of relief and shelter items, including blankets, kitchen sets, and tarpaulins, provided by The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support Sudanese worst affected by the recent floods in the country.

“These materials will be immediately sent out to those affected by floods of 2021 and need aid materials urgently especially the populations in Khartoum state, Sennar and those in Blue Nile, White Nile and Nile beside Al Qadarif,” Hamid Gour, Director of Disaster Management and Emergency Response for Sudanese Red Crescent Society in Khartoum told Khaleej Times at the Khartoum International Airport while overseeing the unloading of the aid materials from the special Boeing 747 aircraft. He estimated that materials were enough to cover over 21,500 people affected by the floods.

Earlier Giuseppe Saba, the Chief Executive Officer of International Humanitarian City thanked the Ruler of Dubai for his “kind generosity and ongoing support” in making the missions happen.

“The International Humanitarian City in Dubai is able to respond rapidly to evolving crises globally and help those most in need and it is because of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The two airlifts have been operated with a B747 aircraft that is part of the Dubai Royal Air Wing fleet, and without His Highness’ ongoing support, this wouldn’t have been possible. IHC and the humanitarian community that we are hosting went extra-miles due the increasing demand of humanitarian assistance, and IHC facilitated and will continue -by all means- to facilitate the dispatch of aid provided by the humanitarian community stored in IHC warehouses in Dubai, to support the Sudanese population affected by the floods,” he said while talking to Khaleej Times moments before the crew was ready for take-off from the Royal Air Wing.

Founded in 2003 by Sheikh Mohammed, IHC is the only non-profit Free Zone Authority of its kind, and is one of the largest humanitarian hubs in the world, hosting 87 members between Humanitarian Organisations and Commercial Companies.

Ilir Caushaj who heads International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRSC)’s Global Fleet and Logistics Hub in Dubai, said Monday’s flight would ensure access to blankets, kitchen sets and tarpaulins for hundreds of Sudanese families facing not just flooding but also other issues like soaring inflation, access to clean water and Covid-19.

“We are very grateful to the International Humanitarian City and the Government of Dubai. We are working around the clock to extend our lifesaving aid to people in need. These items will go a long way in ensuring that and IFRC is working alongside the Sudanese Red Crescent Society to provide them with assistance,” he said.

Abhishek Sengupta Abhishek is the head of multimedia at Khaleej Times and has worked in radio and television channels before joining UAE's first English daily. Semi-skilled in breaking news and storytelling for visual and print media, he feels he is more comfortable talking than writing. A food and travel enthusiast, he is always busy making itineraries when not producing videos for Khaleej Times.