Abu Dhabi: Emirates Red Crescent reaches out by giving aid to thousands of people around the world who suffer every day as they struggle through war, natural disasters and poverty, regardless of their nationality, religion or social background, a senior official said on Tuesday.
“Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) provided Dh204 million in foreign aid, while local aid, including food and clothes, provided by the organisation reached Dh81.7 million in the first half of this year, helping some 30,000 households across the UAE,” Dr Mohammad Atiq Al Falahi, secretary-general of ERC, told a news conference.
The humanitarian organisation was established in the UAE in 1983. It now has 11 offices throughout the country and works with the United Nations, the International Red Cross and the International Red Crescent in Geneva, Switzerland.
“The Red Crescent funded 706 apartments in Shaikh Khalifa City for homeless people in Hadramaut, Yemen, costing Dh110 million in Yemen, in addition to 204 houses for people in Al Mukalla. The organisation had earlier provided 403 houses to people in Hadramaut,” Al Falahi said.
He stressed the vital project is in keeping with the UAE leadership’s interest in boosting development and reconstruction work in Yemen.
Al Falahi said it has accelerated its efforts to help Syrian refugees in an attempt to keep up with the growing numbers fleeing to neighbouring countries.
He added necessary arrangements are under way to establish a camp in Larissa, 360km from Athens, Greece, as quickly as possible due to the plight of the refugees.
The camp will accommodate 2,000 people in its first phase.
The move aims to support and assist Syrian refugees in areas where they are currently located.
Orders to set up the camp were issued by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the support of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
About 50,000 people are stranded in Greece since European countries, including Austria and the Balkan states, closed their borders to migrants earlier this year.
The local aid was distributed within the charity organisation’s several projects, and included humanitarian help, medical aid, rehabilitation of the disabled and helping families of prisoners.
The highest amount of money was given to its student programme totalling Dh16.8 million.
For its humanitarian project, Dh14.8 million was given, while its medical aid programme saw Dh16 million donated.
Additionally, the assistance of prisoners’ families saw Dh3.2 million donated, with 152 families being reached by the Red Crescent’s support. Dh2.5 million was donated to its rehabilitation of the disabled project, and Dh2.7 million was given to support local institutions, and Dh25 million for Ramadan charity works.
The Red Crescent supports approximately 111,000 orphans in 21 countries around the world, with assistance provided amounting to Dh120.7 million.
The organisation is funded in three ways. The main source stems from Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and President of ERC. Money is also raised from commercial ventures [through rent from buildings owned by the organisation] and through donations from the public. Residents in the UAE can donate money at the many collection boxes placed at most major supermarkets.
People can also donate clothes and non-perishable food to the Red Crescent’s branches.