Somalian Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohammad Ali has hailed the relief efforts by the UAE , the first country to respond to the drought and famine in Somalia. He said that initiatives of the UAE have strengthened his country’s efforts to limit the effects of the disaster. Image Credit: WAM

Abu Dhabi: Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said the UN humanitarian effort in the Horn of Africa still needs nearly $1 billion (Dh3.70 billion), out of a total a total of $2 billion, to meet the immediate needs.

About $1 billion is needed just for Somalia because of the famine, Amos told WAM in an interview.

"We already raised over a billion. Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), in its recent meeting, pledged $350 million for Somalia, but it is not yet clear where that money will go."

"Donors from the Gulf and other Muslim countries have contributed a total of $69.2 million since the first of July. The OIC conference on August 18 in Turkey announced a pledge of $350 million," she added. She noted that 22 per cent of the money that has flowed into particularly Somalia recently has come from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar and other regional countries.

In terms of bilateral donations, Saudi Arabia has given $50 million for Somalia, Kuwait $41.4 million and the UAE Red Crescent Authority raised $40 million through a recent telethon, according to Amos.

The senior UN official is in Abu Dhabi on the first leg of a two-day visit to the UAE and Kuwait.

"We are looking to establishing a presence in Abu Dhabi. In Kuwait, I will be opening a regional workshop which will focus on the crisis in the Horn of Africa," she said.

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How to donate in the UAE:

  • Dubai Islamic Bank: account 001-520-6066666-01
  • Dar Al Bir Society: At branches and stands in malls
  • Sharjah Charity Association: SMS 6212 to donate Dh20, and 6215 to donate Dh100.
  • Red Crescent Authority: http://www.rcuae.ae/Donation/Pages/online.aspx