UN logistics hub in Dubai breaks records with Ethiopia drop

An 85-tonne drop of medical gear to Ethiopia was ‘largest single shipment to date’, UN says

Ethiopian refugees visit a make-shift medical clinic at a camp in Sudan's eastern Gedaref region. AFP
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The UN on Monday thanked the UAE for helping enable aid transfers to Ethiopia, saying a humanitarian logistics hub in Dubai had boosted flows of medical gear to the African country, which has been ravaged by civil war and famine-like conditions.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters that the World Health Organisation’s aid centre in Dubai had delivered 85 tonnes of equipment to war-torn Ethiopia in the “largest single shipment of humanitarian cargo to date”.

Mr Dujarric said he was “grateful” to the UAE for the use of a chartered aircraft that sent the medicine, cholera kits, infusions and other supplies for some 150,000 people to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Friday.

“The shipment to Ethiopia wrapped up a historic week for WHO’s Dubai logistics hub, dispatching over four times the weekly average,” Mr Dujarric told reporters in New York.

Dr Boureima Hama Sambo, the WHO envoy in Ethiopia, said the support would help fight cholera and other diseases, which have worsened as the country hurtles towards all-out civil war.

“This is an important demonstration of solidarity with people in need,” said Dr Sambo.

“This delivery will help bolster our efforts to provide relief to hundreds of thousands of families who are grappling with a difficult humanitarian situation.”

The Dubai operation sent more than 400 tonnes of medical supplies worth more than $4.3 million to help stop a cholera outbreak in Nigeria and shipped critical equipment to crisis-struck Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen.

UN agencies, the Red Cross and dozens of other charities use the offices and warehouses at Dubai’s International Humanitarian City to send supplies to people suffering from war and natural disasters across parts of Africa, Asia and beyond.

Ethiopians were thrown into a deepening humanitarian crisis and famine-like conditions after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops into the northern Tigray region in November last year, sparking a civil war that threatens to engulf the country.

Updated: September 14, 2021, 4:42 AM