UAE's relief efforts commended on World Humanitarian Day

Tributes are paid to those who have lost their lives during relief efforts as support rallies for Kerala flood victims

Syrian refugees carry off aid handed out by Emirates Red Crescent as they head to their tent in north-east Jordan, near the border with Syria. Salah Malkawi / The National
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The UAE's efforts to assist the victims of humanitarian crises in India and Yemen have been commended on World Humanitarian Day.

Tributes led by the UN have been paid to the hundreds of relief workers helping those caught by floods in Kerala, India, that have claimed more than 300 lives.

Marking World Humanitarian Day on Sunday, Fahad Saeed Al Menhali, the Yemeni Ambassador to the UAE, said aid from the Emirates was inspired by the legacy of the UAE's Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed.

Mr Al Menhali said the UAE's assistance at at time when Yemen was most in need would forever be testament to the nations' friendship.

“The UAE's noble humanitarian role will go down in the annals of history as the world's largest donation of development aid relative to its national income," he said.

This year's World Humanitarian Day marks the 15th anniversary of an on the United Nations mission in Baghdad, Iraq, in which 22 staff were killed.

The tragedy led to an annual day of commemoration to honour the lives of more than 4,000 aid workers who have been killed, injured, detained or kidnapped since that time.

The theme of this year's World Humanitarian Day is to protect people caught up in conflict zones.


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“Around the world, conflict is forcing record numbers of people from their homes, with over 65 million people now displaced,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

“Children are recruited by armed groups and used to fight. Women are abused and humiliated.

“As humanitarian workers deliver aid and medical workers provide for those in need, they are all too often targeted or treated as threats.

“Together, we stand in solidarity with civilians in conflict, and with the humanitarian workers who risk their lives to help them.”

Mr Al Menhali said much of the critical aid provided by the UAE to Yemen was being used to build houses, roads, and water wells.

Hospitals across the Emirates have also joined the relief effort, appealing for donations of clothes, food and medical supplies to send to Kerala as one of the worst monsoons in recent history continues to grip southern India.

The Canadian Specialist Hospital in Dubai is running a collection until Friday, August 24, and is appealing for clothes, disinfectant, blankets, mats, biscuits and dry food items.

“The natural calamity that has befallen Kerala has dislodged the lives of many Keralites,” said hospital chief executive Dr Yashar Ali.

“We have a strong representation of Malayali staff in our hospital and they have suffered devastating losses during the past week and a half.

"This donation drive is our way of providing some relief to those affected in the hope that they survive this period of tribulation and are able to restore a semblance of normality to their lives after the catastrophe.

“We urge the people of Dubai to come and help people in Kerala in their time of need,” said Dr Ali.

Last year, the UN recorded that 26,000 civilians were killed or injured in attacks in six countries: Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia and Yemen.

A collection point for the Kerala appeal is at the Canadian Specialist Hospital near Abu Hail Metro station, Deira.

For more information, contact Anoop Achuthan on 056 6329915 or Cherian Gregorious on 055 1053432.