The UAE has been moving tonnes of relief and millions of dirhams in donations as Pakistan reels under the devastation wrought by recent floods.
With a death toll of more than 1,300 and millions rendered homeless, the worsening humanitarian situation in the country has prompted the World Health Organisation to raise alarm. The United Nations also appealed to countries around the world to come forward and support the affected communities.
The President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, have directed urgent aid, motivating people and businesses across the Emirates to play their part in humanitarian work.
The UAE’s Ministry of Defence has been operating an air bridge to transport relief. By Wednesday, 19 UAE flights — carrying food and supplies — had landed in Pakistan.
The Emirates Red Crescent has also launched a campaign, allowing people to donate via SMS. Here’s a tweet about how residents can contribute:
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif thanked the UAE Government for its continued support, particularly the establishment of a humanitarian corridor between the two countries.
“Pakistan is thankful to the government and people of UAE for showing support and solidarity in these times of grave crisis,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.
Since September 2, Emirates SkyCargo has been operating an airbridge between Dubai and Pakistan, offering free cargo capacity to transport relief to communities that need them most.
Through this facility, which is available to organisations based at International Humanitarian City (IHC), critical equipment and supplies, food and other emergency relief goods can be flown directly to five airports – Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, and Sialkot.
“Emirates is deeply connected and committed to Pakistan. From our very first flight in 1985 to Karachi until today, we’ve steadily grown the mutually beneficial air links that facilitate business, tourism and trade between the UAE and Pakistan,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Group.
The Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) in cooperation with Dar Al Ber Society and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities also rolled out donation campaigns.
Besides raising funds to build a house for the flood victims, the PAD is collecting tents, mattresses, beds, sleeping bags, blankets, mosquito nets; dry rations such as lentils, pulses, rice; new clothing, shoes, socks; and hygiene essentials such as soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, towels and sanitisers.
Al Ansari Exchange has announced a donation of Dh1 million aimed at supporting communities that are affected by the calamity and bolstering the official funds designated to support relief efforts.
“In these difficult times, we stand by Pakistan and its people, hoping that we can alleviate some of their sufferings and provide the urgent and essential humanitarian assistance required,” said Mohammed Ali Al Ansari, chairman of Al Ansari Exchange.
The company will also provide free remittances to official charitable organisations in Pakistan until September 30 to support those wishing to provide aid and donations to the Flood Relief Support Fund.
The Dubai-based Majid Al-Futtaim Group has also announced a donation of Dh1 million.