World Humanitarian Day: UAE medical aid reaches 107 countries

Photo: WAM

The UAE is celebrating World Humanitarian Day today, which was devoted this year to celebrating humanitarian workers who devoted themselves to providing aid and helping others in all parts of the world despite the exceptional and harsh conditions imposed by the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19.

This year, the occasion bears special symbolism for the UAE, which has played and continues to play a prominent role in promoting international efforts to alleviate the repercussions of the pandemic.

The humanitarian work has emerged in many initiatives since the beginning of the crisis. The country operated urgent flights to evacuate the nationals of friendly countries from the virus-affected areas and hosted them to ensure their treatment and return to their home countries. The country also announced free treatment for critical cases through stem cells.

Additionally, the Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, became a patron and provided care to the families of those who died from COVID-19, irrespective of nationality. The gesture is part of the country's initiative "You are among your Families".

Humanitarian aid bridges reached more than 107 countries with urgent medical and humanitarian aid despite the challenges created by the circumstances. A fund was set up named "The Fund of the United Arab Emirates: Homeland of Humanity" to unify the national efforts to combat the virus and provided aid.

The country played a prominent role in helping the World Health Organization, WHO, to strengthen its strategic stockpile to tackle COVID-19, and to support its efforts to continue the rapid humanitarian response to countries in need. The organisation operates from the International Humanitarian City in Dubai as its logistical headquarters, which is a major specialised global logistics centre.

The UAE also launched the "10 million meals" campaign during Ramadan to support low-income families and individuals who have been affected financially by the coronavirus. The nationwide initiative, a collaboration between Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and Social Solidarity Fund Against COVID-19, enabled the public, companies, businessmen, entrepreneurs and philanthropists to make financial donations towards purchasing cooked meals and food supplies or providing food items and parcels to hard-hit families and individuals.

"Together We Are Good", a local community programme set up by Authority for Social Contribution – Ma'an in Abu Dhabi, was also launched to give the community a chance to support the Abu Dhabi Government’s efforts to address the health and economic challenges arising out of COVID-19.

On World Humanitarian Day, the international community pays special tribute to #RealLifeHeroes – humanitarians and front-line workers who are doing extraordinary things to help people whose lives have been upended by crises, including COVID-19. The United Nations will launch a global campaign that celebrates humanitarians – to say "thank you" to the people who committed their lives to help others and publish stories of some of those inspiring heroes.

The UAE also launched several ''thank you'' initiatives to pay special tribute to these real-life heroes.

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