UAE Cabinet approves International Red Cross office in Abu Dhabi

Agreement with the humanitarian organisation was originally signed in July

Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Co-operation and Peter Maurer, president of the ICRC, signed the agreement to establish an office in Abu Dhabi in July. Image: Wam
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The UAE Cabinet approved an agreement for the International Committee of the Red Cross to set up an office in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister, wrote in a tweet that the decision had been approved along with several other items.

The UAE and the humanitarian organisation originally signed the agreement in July.

Clare Dalton, the ICRC's head of mission in the UAE, said the organisation was delighted to make its relationship with the UAE official.

"The agreement, which ensures our legal status in the UAE, defines the framework of our relations, and paves the way for further co-operation and dialogue with the authorities," she said.

Clare Dalton, Head of Mission-UAE, ICRC, said the agreement paves the way for further cooperation and dialogue with the authorities. Victor Besa / The National

The Geneva-based agency already has a presence in Dubai at International Humanitarian City.

“The UAE has provided the ideal location to discuss innovation in humanitarian action, and the country will host the ICRC’s first Water and Energy Hub currently being set up in the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park,” said Ms Dalton.

"We have similar aspirations on sustainability, preserving the environment, and boosting climate action which we look forward to discuss with the UAE.

“The UAE, a member of our donor support group, has always been a generous partner to the ICRC. We look forward to further avenues of humanitarian co-operation with the authorities."

In May, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent, said the UAE was one of the world's key donors and supporters of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

"The UAE has become a regional centre for support, supply and logistics in the field of emergency humanitarian relief, and a permanent headquarters for many international humanitarian organisations that have found in the Emirates the appropriate place to manage their relief operations in the neighbouring regions," Sheikh Hamdan said. He was speaking ahead of the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day on May 8.

"The UAE has a good infrastructure that qualified it to play this vital role," he said. From the UAE, "convoys depart by land, sea and air to various countries and regions experiencing crises and natural disasters until it has become one of the most important actors and donors of humanitarian aid in the world", Sheikh Hamdan said.

In 2020, 14.9 million Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers reached more than 688 million people with disaster and other emergency response work, 306 million more with health-related activities and 125 million with clean water and sanitation assistance.

Updated: September 12, 2022, 2:51 PM