Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid orders humanitarian aid flights to Sudan

Dubai Ruler's directives ordered vital medical supplies to be sent to Africa

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, ordered two plane-loads of humanitarian aid and medical supplies to be flown to Sudan to tackle a health crisis there.

The mission involved supplies from the World Health Organisation’s Logistics Hub in Dubai that were flown to Africa by chartered aircraft on Sunday and Monday.

The medical cargo will ease critical shortages in Sudanese health facilities and increase access to protective and biomedical equipment required for the fight against the coronavirus.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid orders aid flights from Dubai to Sudan

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid orders aid flights from Dubai to Sudan

Technical logistics staff from the WHO's Dubai base were also flown to assist Sudan's embattled health workers.

Dubai's International Humanitarian City worked with Emirates SkyCargo, a fellow member of the Vaccine Logistics Alliance, to transfer aid from Dubai International Airport to Khartoum Airport.

"By supporting the emergency response of its member community, IHC’s efforts reflect Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision for assisting populations affected by natural disasters and complex emergencies," said Giuseppe Saba, chief executive of the International Humanitarian City.

"IHC has been always together with its community and will continue to proactively support humanitarian actions and continue to serve communities in need."

The first plane touched down in Khartoum on Sunday.

The second delivery, on Monday, contained 54 tonnes of WHO supplies. Valued at $795,000, the aid will reach an estimated 700,000 beneficiaries.

The humanitarian project marked the first time the Dubai centre simultaneously sent technical logistics staff and medical supplies to accelerate a health emergency response.

Last year, from September to December, IHC activated an air bridge carrying aid provided by the humanitarian community and stored within its warehouses in Dubai to support the Sudanese population after major floods.

Tens of thousands of refugees and displaced people fleeing the Tigray region of Ethiopia to Sudan also benefited.

The WHO and IHC are sending emergency health kits, personnel protection equipment, laboratory tests and appropriated medical supplies stored within IHC premises, to help Sudan overcome challenges in detecting, preventing, and mitigating the spread of the coronavirus and providing treatment.

"These supplies are a lifeline for people in need of health care in Sudan," said Dr Nima Abid, WHO representative in Sudan.

"Support from IHC has allowed us to deliver these supplies at a time when they are most needed, to make sure people have access to the health services they need and avoid unnecessary loss of lives.

"WHO is also grateful to the United States Agency for International Development, the European Commission for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, the Sudan Humanitarian Response Fund, and WHO’s Central Emergency Response Fund, whose generous contributions allowed the procurement of these urgently-needed supplies," Dr Abid said.