Mohammed bin Rashid orders aid flight to Somalia in support of COVID-19 response, flood relief efforts

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DUBAI, 12th May, 2020 (WAM) — His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has ordered an aid flight to support the delivery of ventilators and other critical supplies as well as relief items to Somalia. The aid material forms part of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVID-19 response and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) flood relief efforts in the country.

The Mogadishu-bound flight carrying over 35 tons of life saving equipment was chartered by the International Humanitarian City (IHC) under the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to help those most in need at such a challenging time.

Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, the Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of IHC said: “This response from the International Humanitarian City is a prime example of the driving purpose behind His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision that has guided the establishment of the City. Inspired by this vision, IHC seeks to accommodate, facilitate and assist the people and organisations who serve those in need, so that they may work together, as one force, for the betterment of humanity.”

Robert Blanchard from WHO’s logistics hub in Dubai said: “Dispatching more than 160 shipments to 100 countries, WHO continues to support healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response across the globe by equipping them with emergency supplies, including personal protective equipment and laboratory diagnostics. This airlift represents the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in supporting WHO efforts through airlifts and the IHC platform to the whole humanitarian community.”

Giuseppe Saba, CEO of the International Humanitarian City said: “The cargo, aimed at helping the fight against COVID-19 and assisting the population affected by natural disasters, demonstrates the capacity of the International Humanitarian City’s community in responding to large scale emergencies impacting big populations, whilst simultaneously dealing with other natural disasters or complex emergencies. We are very proud to continue to serve together with our global humanitarian community based here in Dubai to assist those most in need.”

Nadia Jbour, Head of UNHCR Office in the UAE said: “UNHCR is sending airlifts and sea shipments of emergency assistance including jerry cans, soap, blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and plastic sheets to help thousands of internally displaced Somalis affected by the floods.”

“Since the beginning of this year, more than 200,000 Somalis have become internally displaced either due to climate-related disasters and conflict. We fear that these emergencies combined with the spread of COVID-19 will lead to devastating consequences, unless there is a strong and coordinated response from the international community and humanitarian actors. UNHCR is proud of its strategic partnership with IHC and appreciates its significant support to UNHCR’s efforts throughout the years to respond to the humanitarian needs of refugees and displaced people worldwide.”

“Through the kind support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and IHC, UNHCR will be able to effectively respond and provide immediate assistance to the affected population,” she added.

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