DUBAI, 19th June, 2020 (WAM) — His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, marked World Refugee Day by ordering an aid flight to support the delivery of urgent humanitarian assistance from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, to Burkina Faso.
The chartered cargo plane left Dubai International Airport for Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, Friday morning with around 100 tons of aid, including 88 tons of core relief items from UNHCR. The assistance includes 12 tons of COVID-19 aid made available by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the global organisation at the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNHCR, the international organisation dedicated to saving lives and protecting the rights of refugees, recently declared an emergency in the Central Sahel Region for the protection and assistance of more than 600,000 internally displaced people, a number that is at risk of growing significantly in the coming weeks.
“Under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, International Humanitarian City seeks to accommodate, facilitate and assist the people and organisations who serve those in need, so that they may work together, as one force, for the betterment of humanity. This aid flight, delivered in coordination and support of the UNHCR and the World Health Organization, is a perfect example of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s vision for IHC in action,” said Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, the Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of International Humanitarian City.
The UNHCR Global Stockpile, based in the International Humanitarian City warehouses in Dubai, offers a strategic option to deliver urgently needed aid by air to support emergency operations around the world in general and particularly in Africa. UNHCR is planning to move 24,200 plastic tarps from the Dubai Global Stockpile. The humanitarian cargo will provide significant assistance to the displaced people in the Sahel Region.
“UNHCR is proud of its strategic partnership with IHC in Dubai and appreciates this airlift which represents the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to mark the 2020 World Refugee Day,” said Nadia Jbour, Head of the UNHCR Office in the UAE. “This contribution is very timely, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lean season. It will support UNHCR’s response to the massive displacement driven by armed violence against civilians in Sahel region that hosts more than three million refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees,” she added.
“The central Sahel region is facing a major humanitarian and protection crisis with limited resources available for humanitarian and development activities. UNHCR just launched the ‘Sahel Crisis Appeal’ to provide life-saving assistance to its persons of concern, focusing on shelter, core relief items, prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, education and the environment,” she further said.
The cargo includes essential kits of medicines and medical supplies in addition to protective equipment for medical staff combating the pandemic provided by the World Health Organization.
“With the Sahel emergency, once again is emerging the challenge of facing multiple emergencies simultaneously. This scenario is a reality and we can’t leave anyone behind. All emergencies deserve the right attention and the donor’s generosity for providing assistance to the affected population,” said Giuseppe Saba, CEO of the International Humanitarian City.
“We are proud to celebrate the World Refugee Day in this special way together with UNHCR and support WHO in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Saba.