Dubai International Humanitarian City sends first aid flight to flood-stricken Sudan

The WHO says this will help replenish depleted medical supplies in Khartoum

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Dubai's International Humanitarian City (IHC) has sent out the first shipment of aid to flood-stricken Sudan where at least 115 people have been killed and almost 300,000 are being affected by the severe weather.

The World Health Organisation and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies sent 92 metric tonnes of blankets, cholera kits, and rapid response equipment among other supplies aboard a Boeing 747 cargo aircraft.

The shipment was part of a wider response by some of the 80 organisations operating at the IHC.

"IHC will keep supporting the humanitarian community. We started last Monday [with] three flights to Pakistan. On [Thursday], we're going to operate a second flight by another Boeing 747 to bring additional relief items to the population of Khartoum and the full Sudanese population," IHC chief executive Giuseppe Saba told The National ahead of Wednesday's flight.

By Thursday, the IHC will have facilitated aid delivery on 18 freight, commercial and private flights to Sudan, Pakistan and Libya.

Depleted Supplies

The supplies landing in Khartoum will be vital for its emergency response.

Speaking to The National on the tarmac in Khartoum, WHO team leader for emergency response Dr Mohammad Daoud Altaf said: "The supplies will cover the needs for almost one million people for three months. Half will go to the government of Sudan to its health ministry."

The remainder will be redirected to the WHO's aid partners on the ground and WHO warehouses in the country as "buffer stock".

"There is a shortage of medicine, especially our own WHO stocks, which are depleted because of what we had already distributed. The aid will be giving a good replenishment of our own stocks across the country," Dr Altaf said.

After a flood like Sudan's, there is a risk of the spread of communicable diseases such as dengue fever, cholera and diarrhoea.

Some of the relief arriving in Sudan on Wednesday and Thursday includes testing kits for these diseases and essential medical supplies.

Workers unload humanitarian aid and relief goods sent from Dubai for Sudan flood victims at Khartoum Airport, Sudan, September 7, 2022.  EPA

The IFRC is also sending foldable jerrycans, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, mats, tarpaulins and water purification agents enough for 20,000 people.

This week, several military and commercial flights carrying aid from the IHC also flew to Pakistan where the flooding has affected five million people and killed many others.

Floods in Sudan have destroyed more than 16,400 homes and damaged countless others. It is one of several countries in the region experiencing severe weather conditions and have had to receive assistance from abroad.

Sudan and Pakistan's poor infrastructure and overall preparedness for expected yet severe weather conditions have exacerbated the number of deaths and damage to the country.

Updated: September 09, 2022, 6:54 AM
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