Abu Dhabi : Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, ordered the airlift of additional humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh fleeing violence in Myanmar.
The order supports the efforts of the humanitarian community in the International Humanitarian City (IHC), in particular, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Three rotations of a B747 relief flight will be loaded with 300 tons of UNHCR’s emergency aid items, including core relief supplies such as tarpaulins, jerry cans, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, buckets, blankets, and kitchen sets, with the support of the IHC. The three upcoming airlifts, coordinated through the IHC, will respond to the needs of nearly 7,620 refugee families who have fled to Bangladesh. The shipments are scheduled to reach Bangladeshi capital Dhaka on September 26, October 2 and 11.
The airlift comes during a massive new wave of displacement of Rohingya refugees fleeing the violence in Myanmar. The number of refugees who have reached Bangladesh since the end of August has edged close to half a million.
The vast majority of refugees are women, including mothers with new-born babies, and families with children. They arrive in poor condition, exhausted, hungry and desperate for shelter.
“The plight of Rohingya is appalling and shocking. We hope our contribution to these refugees will help to alleviate their suffering,” said IHC Chairperson Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Praising the humanitarian response, Head of UNHCR Office in the UAE Toby Harward said: “We are grateful for the timely and generous support offered by Sheikh Mohammed and the logistical support provided by the International Humanitarian City. With the number of refugees rapidly soaring, UNHCR is stepping up the delivery of humanitarian aid to Rohingya refugees who are in desperate need of the most basic subsistence support.”
Two planes have already been dispatched with humanitarian relief from UNHCR’s stockpiles in the IHC in Dubai since the eruption of the latest wave of displacement of Rohingya people last August. They transported basic relief supplies, emergency shelter items, sleeping mats, blankets, and jerry cans.