Abu Dhabi: The UAE Red Crescent (UAERC) has recently collected Dh10 million worth of aid and dedicated 50 trucks worth 300 tonnes of aid for Palestinians in Gaza.
In an exclusive interview, the UAERC General Secretary Ahmad Yousef Al Suwaidi told Gulf News that 10 out of the 50 trucks have already been sent to Gaza through the Jordan-Palestine border.
"We are sending medical aid and drugs, food and 3,500 blankets that we purchased from Egypt, and managed to collect Dh335 million cash money from donors across the UAE and the world for the people of Gaza," said Al Suwaidi.
Within a 10-hour time span, added the secretary general, the RC call centre received 10,000 calls of which 8,000 were from across the UAE and 2,000 from 52 other countries across the world, mainly France and Iraq.
"Till about January 5 we managed to collect Dh315 million cash money and expect another Dh20 million before February 5. The Dubai Islamic Bank was our biggest donor, offering Dh40 million. The rest of the donations came from various other banks, Shaikhs, businessmen and individuals," he added.
A cargo plane has also been sent to Gaza carrying 40 tonnes of medical equipment and emergency services and 100 tonnes of flour through the Rafah Border.
The UAERC is currently in meetings with the Palestine Red Crescent, United Nations and the International Federation of Red Cross to re-home families in Gaza through building new houses, schools and hospitals and renovating old ones. The UAERC has previously sent Gaza Dh600 million of which Dh1,3 million was spent on new buildings; out of which Dh335 million was cash.
"We accommodated approximately 1,300 Palestinians but with the unstable ongoing situation, urgent humanitarian programmes and charity works need to take place on continuous basis," said the official.