Abu Dhabi: The UAE yesterday launched a multi-pronged donation campaign that includes a telethon to raise funds to help Yemen in a time of national crisis.

Upon the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) yesterday launched a major humanitarian campaign to help about 10 million people affected by the unfolding crisis in Yemen, said Dr Mohammad Ateeq Al Falahi, Secretary- General of Emirates Red Crescent

Themed ‘Yemen We Care’, the one-month-long campaign aims to mobilise support for ERC programmes and projects with the aim to ease the suffering of those caught up in Yemen’s conflict.

The UAE President’s move promotes the humanitarian role being played by the UAE to ease the suffering of people in Yemen through provision of needs and basic requirements. The gesture also shows greater solidarity with those affected by the conflict, and draws attention to the difficulties they face so as to accelerate restoration of normalcy to Yemen.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of the ERC, stressed that the UAE leadership and people are concerned about the current humanitarian situation in Yemen.

He added that this concern reflects the strength of fraternal relations between the two brotherly peoples of the UAE and Yemen. “The suffering of our people in Yemen compounds daily with eminent threat of a real catastrophe.”

Shaikh Hamdan noted that these circumstances require concerted regional and international humanitarian efforts to curb the suffering of those affected and improve their condition, as well as draw attention to the critical situation.

He said in a statement on the occasion of launching the campaign (Assisting Yemen) that the UAE, led by Shaikh Khalifa, “realised early the size of impending catastrophe that would affect millions of Yemenis in light of this crisis. Hence, the directives of the UAE President were supportive to the assistance programmes being implemented by the UAE in Yemen since the outbreak of the current conflict.”

Shaikh Hamdan said the ERC follows closely the repercussions of the humanitarian situation in Yemen through constant communication with its delegations in the field to assist all the categories. He added that the ERC has been in Yemen since the 1990s, extending a helping hand during conflicts and natural disasters.

He stressed that the ERC will spare no effort to strengthen its leading role on the Yemeni arena, and will carry out its humanitarian responsibility towards the affected people there to meet their needs.

Shaikh Hamdan called on all sectors of society in the UAE to support the ERC’s humanitarian relief programmes and operations to help those affected. He appealed to Emirati and resident philanthropists to support the humanitarian campaign activities to assist the people of Yemen.

He noted that the ERC was prepared to implement the directives of the leadership, launch fund-raising activities nationwide, and mobilise human resources and volunteer staff to promote the campaign and show greater solidarity with the brothers in Yemen.

The ERC has positioned its delegates at 200 sites, especially at commercial malls, banks, cooperative societies, offices and others, across the UAE to receive donations.

People are asked to donate money, food, clothing and other needed items.

Shaikh Hamdan said the ERC coordinated with its humanitarian partners in the UAE to include all categories in the campaign’s activities so as to achieve its objectives and meet the requirements of the people of Yemen.

The UAE has become the world’s largest aid donor to Yemen in 2015, providing humanitarian aid worth Dh744 million ($202 million) in the past four months — almost half of the aid pledged by other countries.

The aid provided by the UAE to Yemen includes food materials to 181,000 Yemeni families (approximately 1.1 million people). The total food relief given to Yemen is estimated at 29,000 tonnes, including 1.4 million food baskets and Dh181 million worth of emergency relief consisting of grains, edible oils, canned food and other foodstuff.

The UAE’s assistance also covers power supply, health care, water and sewage services, and fuel and other relief materials.

The humanitarian organisations engaged in providing assistance to the people of Yemen include the Emirates Red Crescent, Khalifa Bin Zayed Foundation, Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, and Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charity and Humanitarian Foundation.

These are in addition to the UAE Water Aid (Suqia), Al Rahma Charitable Foundation and Sharjah Charity House.

Early this month, a ship loaded with relief materials, including 4,000 tonnes of food and rations, reached Aden port. In June, the country sent 57 trucks carrying aid to Yemen.