The ruler of Dubai is on a mission to provide emergency relief for Rohingya Muslims.
Just last week he ordered the delivery of emergency aid, and now HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has put his own personal transport behind a humanitarian mission to help refugees.
The Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has offered up his private 747 aircraft to help send supplies to Rohingya Muslims, who have sought shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh after fleeing conflict in Myanmar.
Sheikh Mohammed has also ordered the creation of an open air bridge in a bid to to provide critical relief supplies, with the first flight departing the UAE on Monday.
“The air bridge reflects the UAE’s keenness to support vulnerable populations across the world living in dire humanitarian conditions,” stated a release from Dubai’s media office.
The UAE has already delivered more than 270 tonnes of aid, with a further three trips scheduled for later this month.
Around 500,000 men, women and children have left their homeland for refugee camps in the last month, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
The UAE is hoping to provide them with essentials in the airlifts, sending across planes loaded with tarpaulins, tents, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets and more.
The tents, which have been co-ordinated through Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, are estimated to help more than 8,350 refugee families, while the tarpaulins will benefit 123,350 people.
HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, chairperson of IHC, paid tribute to Sheikh Mohammed’s “generous” creation of the air bridge, saying organisations were sending out “much-needed shelter, food and relief items”.
“Dubai and #IHC are committed to stepping up aid, delivering as much as possible – as many times as needed,” said the royal.
تضامناً مع لاجئين الروهينجا انطلقت من المدينة العالمية للخدمات الإنسانية في دبي ليلة أمس طائرة المساعدات الثالثة متوجهة إلى بنغلاديش كجزء من الجسر الجوي الذي أمر به صاحب السمو الشيخ محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم كاستجابة كريمة من سموه للظروف الإنسانية الصعبة التي يعاني منها اللاجئون الروهينجا. يقوم أعضاء المدينة العالمية من مؤسسات تابعة للأمم المتحدة ومنظمات محلية ودولية بإرسال المساعدات التي تتضمن الخيم والطعام والمواد الاغاثية… وقد بلغ حجم تلك المساعدات حتى الآن 270 طن وسيتم إرسال 300 طن أخرى من المساعدات خلال الأيام القليلة القادمة. دبي والمدينة العالمية للخدمات الإنسانية ملتزمتان بإيصال المزيد من المساعدات بأسرع وقت ممكن. #Rohingya From International Humanitarian City in Dubai, in solidarity with #Rohingya refugees, our third airlift of aid went out last night to Bangladesh, part of the open air bridge HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum generously created in response to their critical humanitarian conditions. IHC members of the United Nations, local and International organizations are sending out much needed shelter, food and relief items so far amounting to over 270 Metric Tons, followed by another 300 Metric Tons of aid in the coming few days. #Dubai and #IHC are committed to stepping up aid, delivering as much as possible— as many times as needed #Rohingya @IHC_UAE @UN @MyDubai
Sheikh Mohammed first ordered Dhs2.7 million of aid to Bangladeshi refugee camps earlier in September to help “alleviate suffering”.
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.
“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