The UAE's solidarity with Afghanistan

Vulnerable families hosted in the Emirates

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A sprawling complex complete with residential, medical, childcare and prayer facilities, the Emirates Humanitarian City, located in Abu Dhabi, was first used last year to house evacuees at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, it houses 8,500 vulnerable Afghans evacuated from their homeland as they wait for permanent settlement in third countries.

Among their number are thousands of women and children, including several individuals who arrived in Abu Dhabi in dire need of medical assistance, which has been provided within the Humanitarian City and at nearby hospitals. Some women have even given birth, officials have said, while other individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 have been given world-class treatment.

There is a proud tradition in the UAE of offering assistance to those who need it most

Furthermore, more than 39,000 people, including Afghans and citizens of other countries, have been evacuated from Afghanistan by the UAE Air Force since the start of August. It is the single largest humanitarian airlift in Emirati history.

In another move that further shows the UAE's commitment to Afghanistan, on Thursday the UAE announced that at-risk Afghan citizens will be given shelter and support on a longer-term basis. Under the directives of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the UAE has begun hosting Afghan families, especially women and children. The emphasis of this initiative is to "extend safety and dignity to these families", according to WAM.

The UAE’s humanitarian efforts this month are the latest in the context of a 20-year commitment to contribute towards a better quality of life for Afghans, and to stand in solidarity with those who want to build a just, humane and tolerant society at home. Their mission has been confronted with monumental obstacles over the past two decades, as war and extremist attacks continue to target innocent civilians.

There is a proud tradition in the UAE of offering assistance to those who need it most. UAE Air Force flights bound for Afghanistan continue to take off from the country’s runways, honouring that tradition. Some of these flights will now bring with them Afghans who will call the UAE their new home. They will be met by a society standing to greet them with open arms, and in its embrace the tradition will be kept alive. UK, French and Australian citizens have been among the evacuees received and taken care of by the UAE.

This is part of a wider UAE ethos of giving to those most at need. In the past decade, the UAE has distributed more than Dh206 billion in international aid from 2010 to 2021, the latest government figures show. The country has ranked as the world’s leading development aid donor for four consecutive years, and second and fourth during the same period in other years.

Providing support to Afghan families and ensuring their safety in their hour of need, in addition to the monumental evacuation efforts over the past couple of weeks, is a hallmark of Emirati generosity and solidarity.

Published: August 27, 2021, 6:56 AM
Updated: August 29, 2021, 2:36 PM