UAE, WHO sign Dh50.5m agreement to develop health sector in Yemen

Emirates NBD on Wednesday launched the bank’s pilot blockchain network for banking services, a first for any private sector entity in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Emirates Red Crescent, on behalf of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), signed two co-operation agreements with the World Health Organisation (WHO) worth Dh50.5 million, aimed at implementing new healthcare and humanitarian projects in Yemen.

These projects were a part of the continuing developmental initiatives carried out by the UAE in Yemen, said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC). It was a reflection of the concern and commitment of the UAE to improve the humanitarian conditions in Yemen, he added.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan stressed that under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE will continue to implement its developmental and humanitarian initiatives to alleviate the suffering of the people in Yemen.

On the occasion, the 'We Care' initiative to develop the health sector in Yemen was also announced as part of the two agreements.

This will comprise a number of projects and programmes to support health services and provide the necessary medical care for the Yemenis. It will centre around four main areas, prevention, treatment, maternal and child health care, and training of the medical cadre.

As per the agreements, the ERC will finance a number of the projects and programmes. The agreements were signed on behalf of the ERC by Secretary-General Dr. Mohammad Atiq Al Fallahi, and by Dr. Ahmed Farah Chadol, WHO representative in Yemen.

The first agreement includes the renovation 20 hospitals, improvement in services, and optimisation of their efficiency to meet the increasing health needs during the current phase.

The first agreement is worth Dh44.1 million and covers health institutions in nine governorates, including Aden, Taiz, Abyan, Shabwa, Ma'rib, Al Hudaydah, Al Mukalla, Seiyun, Hadramout and Al Maharah.

The agreement stipulates that comprehensive healthcare programmes are to be implemented for women, especially pregnant women, and children suffering from acute malnutrition and epidemic, in addition to providing training to the medical cadre.

It also provides for assistance, and technical and administrative support, to develop a system of referral for critical conditions for treatment and suitable healthcare, besides providing the necessary equipment and medicines to save lives.

The second agreement includes the implementation of integrated outreach programmes against polio, measles and other routine vaccinations in 11 Yemeni governorates, including Abyan, Al Jawf, Al Maharah, Taiz, Al Mukalla, Socotra Island, Seiyun, Shabwah, Aden, Lahij and Ma'rib.

The cost of these activities is estimated at Dh6.5 million. The agreement targets the provision of necessary vaccines for about 643,637 children and women including 130,148 children under one year of age, 357,824 children under 5, 66,143 pregnant women and 89,522 young women.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan said that the UAE and its leadership were determined to stand solidly by the brothers in Yemen who faced enormous challenges and provide them with humanitarian support and other help.

He stressed the importance of the role played by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in increasing the humanitarian assistance in response to the conditions in Yemen.

Sheikh Hamdan said that the current turmoil in Yemen seriously aggravated the conditions of those affected by the conflict, making them more vulnerable, especially the children and the women.

He pointed out that the UAE had been supporting the suffering Yemenis right from the beginning of the crisis, implementing humanitarian programmes, relief activities and health programmes that covered the most affected regions.

"This was all done in the face of significant risks, but it contributed greatly towards alleviating the suffering. The UAE is now preparing itself for the most important stage of this process. That is renovation of infrastructure, particularly in the health sector. The UAE is also extending its support to the efforts of international organisations in Yemen, helping them enhance their ability to implement their programmes aimed at meeting the needs of Yemen. Right on top is the WHO," he explained.

Earlier, the UAE had sponsored the treatment of 1,500 people injured in the conflicts, who are currently being treated in hospitals in the UAE, Sudan and India.

The initiatives of the ERC in the health sector in Yemen during the previous period included the renovation of Al Jamhouriyya hospital in Eden and '22 May' hospital as well as the repair and maintenance of 13 health centres in a number of governorates, besides donating 19 ambulances, medical equipment and supplies, refrigerator trucks to transport medicines, medical supplies and health packages.

Moreover, a mobile hospital was established to reach the patients and the injured in the remote areas and provide the necessary healthcare to them.

Addressing a press conference on the occasion, Dr. Al Fallahi stressed that the projects and programmes of the ERC in Yemen had received careful attention and follow-up from Sheikh Hamdan, a matter which had a substantial impact on the ERC's strong presence there nowadays in spite of the exceptional conditions that it is currently witnessing.

He said that the authority is working in different fields to create a better life for the people in Yemen and contribute to the development and reconstruction efforts currently needed.

This had been the customary practice of the ERC and its approach in adopting initiatives and ideas that preserve the dignity of man everywhere and seek to improve his condition, he added while applauding the partnership between the ERC and WHO.

He stressed that the two agreements today marked a new step in the strategic partnership between the ERC and WHO, strengthening future efforts by both parties in the health and humanitarian fields. He stressed the willingness of the ERC to continue the partnership and develop it further so as to meet the aspirations of both organisations in humanitarian work.

Dr. Chadol said that the UAE is playing a pivotal role in alleviating humanitarian suffering in Yemen.

He added that WHO closely noticed, as a result of their field presence, how the efforts of the UAE were effective in enhancing the services needed by the people during the current conditions.

He also stressed that the UAE initiatives in this regard are being appreciated and applauded by the international community and humanitarian organisations.

He also thanked the WHO for the UAE’s contributions in supporting the humanitarian efforts of the organisation and helping it face the challenges and overcome the risks threatening women, children and civilians in Yemen.

The existing partnership between the ERC and WHO would help in achieving the aspirations of both sides with respect to the provision of necessary protection and care for those affected, he said.

The co-operation between both sides was one of the strongest partnerships for the WHO, while helping to save lives and dealing with health risks to thousands of women and children in the conflict zones of Yemen.