We weren’t short of reasons to love Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, but she’s giving us plenty more this week.

The royal is currently in Haiti bringing hope to the thousands affected by Hurricane Matthew, the deadly tropical cyclone that tore through the US, Central America, the Caribbean and some of South America over the last fortnight.

As part of her husband’s, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai’s, wishes, Princess Haya is personally manning the delivery and distribution of 90 metric tonnes of aid to Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital that was already devastated in a 2010 earthquake.

 

Princess Haya visited the island following the quake, and has returned there this week with more than US$350,000 (Dhs1.29 million) of aid, which should benefit around 340,000 residents.

Transported on a plane personally owned by Sheikh Mohammed, the supplies include water purification units, mosquito nets, medical supplies, tents and other support equipment.

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With around 300,000 Haitians currently living in temporary shelters after their homes were obliterated, the spread of cholera is a growing concern – one the UAE’s aid supplies should help to quell. 

The hurricane has killed between 500 and 1,300 people according to the latest reports, with more than 1.4 million islanders affected.

Hundreds of thousands have little or no access to clean water, education or adequate nutrition – however the UAE’s shipment, organised by the International Humanitarian City per the instruction of HH Sheikh Mohammed, hopes to improve many lives.

The United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot and partners including Save the Children, Handicap International, World Vision International, Catholic Relief Services, USAID and Lutheran World Relief, all donated to the shipment.

لقد قضيت 3 ساعات إضافية مع النقيب عوض تركي المحاسنه قائد فريق المهام الخاصه, حيث حدثني عن الكثير من الامور التي ساعدتني على تفسير وفهم الوضع وما يمرون به أكثر…النقيب عواد قد رزق بإبن جديد قبل يومين سماه بإسم هاشم ولم يراه بعد إلى من خلال صورة. عواد يراقب الامور في جميع الأوقات وهو سريع وفخور بقواته، ويعطي لهم الفضل لجهودهم. قد وقفنا تحت جناح طائرة الشحن للتحدث، عندما رأيت مجموعة من الرجال جالسون بهدوء تحت المطر، للحفاظ على سلامتنا. هؤلاء الرجال كانوا من فريق المهام الخاصة الاردنية. قواتنا، القوات العربية، لم يشكو أبداً. فطيلة الوقت وهم جالسون تحت المطر يتمعنون في المسافة. لم يسبق في حياتي أن شعرت بالتواضع الذي شعرت به بتلك اللحظة. هؤلاء يرون الأشياء الفظيعة، ويقاتلون من أجل انسانيتنا، ويسهرون لحمايتي ولحماية بضائع الإغاثة. شكراً لكم يا اخواني I spent a further 3 hours with the Jordanian Captain Awad Turki AlMahasna, SWAT team leader, where he told me many things that gave me more of a sense of what they faced than facts and numbers… Al Nakeeb Awad just had his second child two days ago, a little boy he named Hashem. God bless them both, he has not seen him yet, only in pictures. Awad watches you all the time, he is quick, and proud of his troops. He gives them credit all the time. We stood under the wing of the cargo plane for a while talking, and then I saw some men sitting quietly and protecting us under the rain in the distance. It was the Jordanian Swat Team. Our troops, Arab troops, they never complain. They just sat there in the rain and watched us talk under the wing of the plane. Never have I felt so humble in my life. They see terrible things, they fight for our humanity, and they stayed in the distance silently protecting me and our cargo. Thank you, my brothers.

A photo posted by Haya Bint Al Hussein (@hrhprincesshaya) on

An audience with the Pope

Shortly before she departed for Haiti, Princess Haya stopped over in Rome, where she met with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

During the one-day visit, the royal discussed the global hunger crisis and filled in His Holiness on the UAE’s efforts to provide aid and promote tolerance worldwide.

princess haya pope francis

“Many of us around the world are completely and utterly unaware that basic food is a precious commodity for an astonishing 800 million people,” Princess Haya said in a statement released on Saturday.

“Every single night, 800 million people go to bed weak from having eaten little or nothing that day. And so many of us rarely even think of them.

“To end world hunger, what we need is simply more ‘heart’ – the‘heart’ to empathise with the suffering of people; the heart to take action and do what it is needed to bring them relief.”

The royal also paid tribute to her husband, calling him “the person who has made the biggest impact on the global humanitarian scene”. 

Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed

“While he has a deep passion for giving the best possible life to his people he is also keen to share some of the gains of the country’s progress with the less fortunate around the world. His contributions have not been limited by politics, geography, race, colour or religion.

“He is passionate about helping those who need it and puts that passion into practice whenever he can.”

Following the audience with Pope Francis, Princess Haya attended a Soccer Match for Peace at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, where she planted an olive tree during the opening ceremony.

 
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Brava Princess Haya – you and the government’s generosity make us very proud to be part of the UAE.

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Images: mediaoffice.ae