ABU DHABI, 15th June, 2018 (WAM) — Under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, Chairman of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority, the ERC has commenced emergency aid operations via air and sea relief bridges in Hodeidah, Yemen.
The move follows the directives of the UAE leadership and is in line with the framework of the UAE foreign aid policy and emergency humanitarian aid response to the Yemeni people.
In a statement, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Chairman of the ERC, reiterated the UAE’s commitment to its humanitarian responsibilities towards its brothers in Yemen, as per the directives of the UAE leadership.
His Highness said that the UAE would spare no effort to provide the necessary resources and aid to reduce the hardships faced by Yemenis, adding that concerted humanitarian efforts are currently underway to assist those in need.
Sheikh Hamdan highlighted that the UAE Leadership’s directives to establish an emergency relief bridge to Hodeidah will provide necessary humanitarian and food assistance to the governorate’s liberated areas.
He noted the UAE aid authority’s efforts in Yemen, adding that the ERC continues to keep pace with liberation of the Red Sea Coast region, providing all necessary humanitarian aid and developmental efforts to support the security and stability of Yemen’s citizens.
The ERC emergency relief bridge consists of ten UAE vessels carrying 13,500 tons of foodstuffs, as well as an emergency aid airlift that includes three flights carrying 10,436 food parcels.
The first aid ship will transport 500 tons of rice and flour, while the second ship will deliver 1,000 tons of various foodstuffs. Four other vessels will provide 3,000 tons of foodstuffs each.
An ERC aid ship carrying 10,000 tons of wheat is expected to arrive on 22nd June 2018, providing essential food aid for 888,000 individuals across a span of two weeks, including 480,000 children and 160,000 women.
The aid ships are heading towards Hodeida, where the port remains open and operational. Additional ships have been cleared to arrive at the port in the coming days.
An aid ship carrying 65,000 food parcels arrived in Yemen on 10th June, benefiting 455,000 Yemenis, including 273,000 children and 91,000 women.
The UAE aid authority also sent a cargo ship on 10th June which is expected to arrive on Yemen’s shores on 22nd June, carrying 500 tons of food aid – enough to provide for 12,000 people across a two week period. A further aid ship, carrying 1,000 tons of food, is scheduled to arrive on 23rd June.
As for the air bridge, the first and second planes will carry 2,010 food parcels each, while the third will carry a load of 6,416 food parcels.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, recently unveiled a comprehensive aid relief plan drafted by the Arab Coalition to ensure the rapid delivery of humanitarian assistance to Hodeidah and its surrounding areas.
Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, ERC Secretary-General, said that the aid authority has strategic stocks of relief materials in Yemen, estimated at 40,000 food parcels along with medicinal and medical supplies, as well as food supplements for women and children which will be distributed across liberated areas of Hodeidah.
Dr. Al Falahi added that the ERC’s emergency relief operations across Hodeidah would encompass various stages, beginning with the provision of emergency relief operations and delivery of food aid, followed by necessary utilities and infrastructure development projects with the aim to alleviate the hardships faced by Yemenis in the governorate.
UAE aid to Yemen between April 2015 and May 2018 reached AED13.85 billion (US$3.77 billion). The UAE has also pledged $500 million to support the UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen in 2018, of which so far has committed 93 percent ($465 million) of the pledged amount.
The nation has also committed to its foreign aid agenda, and its support for Yemen and its people, by undertaking partnerships with various international organisations including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The UAE aid authority is cooperate closely with various international aid groups and organisations, with contingency plans in place to ensure the continued delivery of necessary humanitarian aid even if Houthi militias attempt to sabotage or damage Hodeidah port.