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Two Emirates Sky Cargo aircraft carried the much-needed medical supplies. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, International Humanitarian City (IHC) chartered two additional aircraft, activating a humanitarian air bridge bringing aid to tens of thousands of refugees and displaced individuals fleeing Ethiopia to Sudan.

An Emirates Sky Cargo aircraft, transporting aid provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and stored within IHC warehouses in Dubai, reached Ethiopia on Wednesday carrying 96 metric tonnes of medical supplies to aid an estimated 200,000 patients.

Another Emirates Sky Cargo aircraft left Dubai on Thursday morning for Sudan, transporting 95 metric tonnes of relief and shelter aid provided by the IHC Community, including United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), World Food Programmes (WFP -UNHRD and Fittest) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF). These organisations are sending relief and shelter items stored within IHC warehouses in Dubai and are destined to assist the escalating humanitarian situation impacting the lives of about 40,000 Ethiopian refugees who are streaming into eastern Sudan.

During the past months of September and October 2020, IHC chartered several aircraft carrying aid provided by the humanitarian community and stored at IHC warehouses in Dubai to support the Sudanese population affected by devastating floods.

Global humanitarian and logistics hub

Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of the IHC, said: “The IHC operating as a proactive global humanitarian and logistics hub and working closely with the UN and international humanitarian organisations stems directly from Sheikh Mohammed’s vision and devotion to the betterment of society.”

Robert Blanchard from the WHO’s logistics team in Dubai said: “In response to ongoing health needs in Ethiopia, the World Health Organisation is immediately deploying 96 metric tonnes of medical supplies including life-saving malaria medicines, emergency health kits, cholera kits, and trauma and emergency surgery kits from its logistics hub located within the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, UAE. The medical supplies, valued at over $300,000, will cover an estimated 200,000 patients.”

Mario Stephan, the Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) UAE office, said: “The Airbridge allows our organisation to get 17 cubic metres of crucially needed Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) on the ground in Sudan”.