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09 December 2023

UAE stands by our friends in Kerala: Ambassador to India

By Wam

The United Arab Emirates has announced relief and assistance for the state of Kerala that is reeling under a massive natural calamity.

Speaking exclusively to 'India Today', Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al-Banna, the UAE Ambassador to the Republic of India said that the Emirates has formed a national emergency committee to provide relief assistance to people affected by flash floods in the Indian state of Kerala.

The committee will be chaired by the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), and include representatives from UAE's humanitarian organisations, he noted "UAE people and Indian people are one community. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced, we will stand with our friends in the hardship that the state of Kerala has gone through due to heavy rain and floods. We will stand and we will do whatever we can do."

UAE has around three million Indians living and working there, of whom 80 percent are from the state of Kerala.

Ambassador Al-Banna said that they are waiting for the green signal from the concerned authorities to start relief and assistance work. "We are in touch with local authorities in Kerala and the federal authority (central government). We will coordinate with them and follow rules and regulations in India in providing aid, medical supplies and relief material," he said.

Earlier, around 100 UAE nationals were rescued from different parts of Kerala and taken to Kochi from where they will either be airlifted or taken by bus to Thiruvananthapuram to be flown back to their country.

UAE has also created an emergency hotline for Keralites who have family in or travelling to Kerala.