The UAE is standing up in support of the Rohingya people.
Since August, more than 650,000 men, women and children have fled violent persecution their native Myanmar to seek safe shelter in Bangladesh.
This has created the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, according to reports, with people around the globe coming together to try and support these displaced families.
Among those nations is the UAE, which has so far sent 10 airlifts of much-needed relief supplies to Bangladeshi refugee camps.
And, under the orders of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, a further three more airlifts will be sent this month, with the first leaving Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC) on December 6.
The latest drop will deliver 100 metric tonnes of kitchen sets and prefabricated warehouses to camps, with further airlifts scheduled for December 11 and 13.
In total, the UAE has so far helped more than 480,000 Rohingya people, Dubai Media Office reports, with 1,000 metric tonnes of supplies sent from the Emirates in two months.
HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein has paid tribute to the UAE’s swift response and generosity as refugees face “an incredibly distressing time”.
“We will continue to send as much help as we possibly can for these people and pray that the persecution they face will end soon and they can return to their normal lives,” said the royal, who is also the chairperson of IHC.
Vivian Tan of the UNHCR has described the crisis facing #Rohingya refugees as ‘the most desperate and devastating thing I’ve seen in my 15 years working with refugees.’ ‘More and more are coming to camps that are already more than full’, she said. To date, more than 600,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh, with thousands more still stranded within Myanmar. Men, women and children: people not so different from you and I, except for the hand that has been dealt to them. People like Sayed Azin, a Rohingya refugee who lost everything as he fled. ‘Half my village was burned,’ he said. ‘I saw them do it. I left everything. I can’t find my family and I can’t take any more.’ Where does it end? And where does our collective responsibility to use our humanity to help alleviate suffering begin? My heart is heavy but I am proud that the UAE continues to do all that it can to help augment the relief efforts of UN agencies and NGOs. Our air bridge remains open and we are working to ensure that food and other relief items get through to those suffering. Our 9th airlift to Bangladesh took off today from the International Humanitarian City to #Rohingya refugees. The flight carried 91 metric tonnes of core relief items provided by IFRC @international_federation
“My heart is heavy but I am proud that the UAE continues to do all that it can to help augment the relief efforts of UN agencies and NGOs.”
In September, Sheikh Mohammed ordered the creation of an open air bridge in a bid to provide critical relief supplies, sending across planes loaded with tarpaulins, tents, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets and more.
Indeed, the UAE is no stranger to foreign aid, and was even ranked as the biggest donor in the world in 2014.
The Emirates has also been declared a top foreign aid donor of 2016, with an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report stating the UAE gave Dh15.23 billion in official development assistance last year.
“The UAE does not provide conditional assistance and does not wait for any returns. We only want the good and stability of all people,” said Sheikh Mohammed when the report was released.
Princess Haya also addressed the UAE’s generosity in a speech earlier this year, adding that the nation’s contributions would continue.
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“The UAE gave Dhs32 billion in aid [in 2015],” the royal said. “The UAE will continue in line with the Year of Giving to be one of the most humanitarian countries in the world.
“The goal of our leadership is clear, which is to build a future city of security and humanitarian. It is our responsibility, it is our humanity that future generations will hold us accountable for.”
Images: Dubai Media Office, HRH Princess Haya/Instagram