Dubai has sent the first batch of aid from International Humanitarian City (IHC) to Pakistan to help the victims of deadly flooding.
The first shipment involved three C130 military planes that transported 33 tonnes of humanitarian relief and shelter items from UN refugee agency stockpiles in Dubai to Karachi.
Officials said the aid, which is part of the humanitarian air bridge set up between Dubai and Pakistan, will benefit 13,600 people.
The aid includes basic medical and health supplies that will help mitigate the spread of diseases caused by stagnant water in flooded areas as well as personal hygiene supplies and food for those that have been affected by the crisis.
On Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, ordered aid worth Dh50 million ($13.6m) to be delivered to Pakistan.
Over the coming week, nine additional flights will transport further aid to the country on behalf of IHC partners, including the UN World Food Programme, the World Health Organisation and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
While the floods in recent weeks have affected much of Pakistan, the southern province of Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital, has been hit the hardest.
More than 1,300 people have been killed and millions have lost their homes in flooding caused by unusually heavy monsoon rains that many experts have blamed on climate change.
In response to the unfolding disaster, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres last week called on the world to stop “sleepwalking” through the crisis. He plans to visit flood-hit areas on September 9.
Humanitarian organisations in the UAE will on Saturday host a volunteering initiative to collect thousands of urgent relief kits for affected families.
The “We Stand Together” community event will take place simultaneously in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Dubai Exhibition Centre — South Hall at Expo City and Expo Centre in Sharjah from 9am to 1pm.
The initiative is led by Emirates Red Crescent Authority, Dubai Cares and Sharjah Charity Association, in co-ordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and the Ministry of Community Development.
Interested volunteers are asked to register on the UAE Volunteers website by Thursday.