UAE relief plane to arrive in Haiti today

Young children are seen in an orphanage near Port-au-Prince following the earthquake that hit on January 12. (AFP)

A UAE Red Crescent relief plane will land today at Port- au-Prince, the capital city of Haiti, from Panama.

It will carry 45 tonnes of medicine, medical staff, food and relief supplies purchased from the local market in co-ordination with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The first 100-tonne aid plane of the UAE air bridge to relieve quake victims in Haiti will leave Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Mohammad Al Qamzi, Secretary-General of the UAE Red Crescent Authority, said that the UAE relief agency is intensifying its efforts to alleviate suffering of the earthquake victims in implementation of directives given by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler of Abu Dhabi for delivery of humanitarian assistance to Haiti.

Etihad relief effort

Etihad Crystal Cargo will operate a special Red Crescent and Khalifa Welfare Foundation charter flight to Haiti tomorrow, carrying medical and humanitarian supplies to the quake-hit country.

The charter flight is part of the "Care By Air" initiative, founded by Maximus Air Cargo, Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Airport Services, which provides cargo space "at cost" to deliver relief aid to disaster-stricken areas around the world.

Ahmed Humaid Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the UAE Red Crescent, said in a statement: "Our mission is to mobilise humanitarian forces to aid those in need and the situation in Haiti is probably the worst in the world right now and we need to get help there as soon a possible.

EU earmarks funds

The European Union (EU) earmarked yesterday sums approaching half a billion euros (Dh2.6bn) in emergency aid and reconstruction funds to help rebuild quake-ravaged Haiti.

The EU's executive arm will also provide just more than €107m in "early rehabilitation" aid, and a further €200m in medium to long-term reconstruction money, for a total of €429m.

International aid workers are struggling to cope with the scale of the disaster in the Caribbean island nation, where officials fear the final death toll could top 200,000. A quarter of a million more were injured and 1.5 million left homeless in the wake of Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude quake.

 

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