Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development, Head of the UAE Committee for Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid, has highlighted the UAE's efforts in response to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which included the provision of various types of aid, benefitting over 1.8 million Yemeni people.
She reaffirmed that the current humanitarian crisis in Yemen poses a serious challenge to the international community, especially in light of the increasing numbers of affected individuals, as well as the widespread damage to infrastructure in many cities of the war-struck country, as a result of attacks perpetrated by Houthis and rebel groups.
She also called for strong collaboration among various stakeholders and international humanitarian institutions, to provide the required aid to the Yemeni people.
During her meeting with Desmond Swayne, UK Minister of State for International Development, and the accompanying delegation, at MICAD's headquarters, Sheikha Lubna noted the vital and active role played by the humanitarian institutions in the UAE, and the urgent response launched by these institutions to provide various kinds of aid and support, despite the challenging situation in the country.
At the meeting the parties discussed ways to strengthen partnership in all fields of international humanitarian action and development between the UAE and Britain.
Sheikha Lubna explained that the UAE offered a sum of Dh1.64 billion ($447 million) in 2015 as humanitarian aid, with a special focus on infrastructure rehabilitation efforts in the Yemeni governorates of Aden, Taiz, Lahj, Dalea, Shabwa, Abyan, Hadramaut, Mahara, and Marib, in addition to the island of Socotra.
The UAE also helped in the rehabilitation of Aden airport and sea port, as well as many of the power stations, a total of 11 hospitals, and a medical center. The UAE also helped in the maintenance and rehabilitation of 154 schools, with 123 schools already handed over to the Yemeni government in time for the school term. Al Qasimi also highlighted that the UAE assisted in various other developmental projects, while continuing the provision of food aid.
Sheikha Lubna also discussed with British Minister for International Development means of strengthening relations and enhancing consultations between the two parties on key developments in the international development arena, praising the levels of cooperation between the UAE and Britain in providing qualitative humanitarian support to Syrian refugees, in accordance with the agreements concluded between the two parties, especially in education and other vital sectors.
The British Minister of International Development, praised the efforts of the UAE in the field of international development and humanitarian response, under the guidance of its wise leadership, commending in particular the efforts of UAE humanitarian institutions towards the Yemeni humanitarian crisis. He also stressed the importance of concerted international efforts to resolve the crisis, and provide urgent relief aid to the people affected by it.
Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi also met with Sean Jones, Ambassador of New Zealand for Economic Development to the Pacific region, at the headquarters of Zayed University in Abu Dhabi. They discussed means of enhancing joint cooperation between the UAE and New Zealand, and the rest of the Pacific region, especially in the field of renewable energy projects, and enhancing developmental capabilities of the countries of the Pacific region.
Sheikha Lubna confirmed that the outstanding efforts made by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, supports various prospects of cooperation between the Arab countries and the Pacific region, stressing the importance of strengthening cooperation and exchange of views between the UAE and New Zealand, aiming at promoting international development in the countries of the Pacific region. She also noted that renewable energy projects have become a fundamental pillar for achieving sustainable development goals for 2030.
The New Zealand Ambassador praised the leading role played by the UAE at the regional level in the Middle East, which aims at enhancing cooperation between the Arab world and the Pacific region, and supporting developmental projects in these countries in order to achieve prosperity for their peoples.
The two meetings were attended by Mohammed Sultan Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary for International Development at MICAD, and Najla Mohammed Al-Kaabi, Assistant Under-Secretary for International Cooperation.