Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has directed the despatch of 30 tons of medical equipment and aid to Beirut following yesterday’s deadly blast, the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai said in a statement on Wednesday.
A 747 jumbo jet carried approximately 30 tons of aid relief, including trauma kits, surgical supplies and personal protection equipment (PPE), provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), from their stocks IHC in Dubai.
“His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, ordered the aid to be sent immediately on his personal aircraft in response to the devastating blast which rocked Beirut yesterday,” said Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Chairman of the Supreme Committee for the Supervision of IHC.
The blast, which appeared to have been caused by a fire igniting 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate in a warehouse, was felt as far away as Cyprus, some 150 miles (240 kilometres) to the northwest. It killed at least 100 people and wounded 4,000.
Robert Blanchard from WHO’s logistics hub in Dubai said that WHO is dispatching trauma kits containing emergency medical supplies enough to treat 500 injured people and surgical kits containing supplies to treat 500 people requiring surgical care.
“Within the coming hours, with generous and rapid support from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, WHO’s logistics hub located within the IHC in Dubai, will deploy critically needed and life-saving supplies to health care facilities in Beirut. We thank the government of the United Arab Emirates who are a key WHO partner in global health emergency response,” Blanchard said in a statement.
Thierry Balloy, IFRC’s Director of Supply Chain Management, said that the PPE equipment will help Lebanese Red Cross volunteers and staff provide safe support to some 5,000 survivors of the Beirut Port disaster.
“So many people have been affected by the explosion and it’s vital that these skilled medical teams can do their life-saving work in a way that prevents the spread of the novel coronavirus,” said Balloy.
“The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has dispatched nearly 70 cubic metres of PPE worth $378,596 from its Global Logistics Hub in Dubai, with support from Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid,” he added.