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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

UAE Starts Air-Bridge to Supply Syrian Refugees as Winter Storm Hits, but...

Syrian children gather outside their tents at a refugee camp in Deir Zannoun village, Bekaa valley, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. A snow storm is expected to hit Lebanon affecting Syrian refugees, many of whom live in tents without heating. The government estimates there are about 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, about one-quarter of the total population.

This is a great thing for the UAE to be doing and they should be applauded. However, it would have been better if they had started last week and it would be much better if the airplanes were not returning to Abu Dhabi and Dubai empty.

ABU DHABI: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan has directed the immediate start of an airbridge to send relief materials, including blankets, winter clothes and food supplies, to hundreds of thousands of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, in addition to those affected in Gaza and other Palestine regions.

With temperature dropping below zero, the entire Levant is set to be hit by a heavy snowstorm that will bring heavy rain, hail and snow in the coming days.

Shaikh Khalifa said: “The UAE will remain committed to its humanitarian message and continue to be a global humanitarian capital and a major hub for helping those in need."

He added: "To alleviate the suffering of hundreds of thousands of refugees during this winter is a moral obligation, an Islamic duty, driven by truly Emirati values that our founding fathers have instilled in all of us.”

The President has invited all organisations and national bodies in the UAE to participate in this nationwide campaign that aims to involve all citizens and residents to contribute to alleviating the suffering of refugees during the harsh winter.

Ankara, Turkey, Jan 6, 2015
He said: “The sons of the UAE are the sons of good and generous Zayed. We invite all our citizens and residents to participate in this national campaign to aid our refugee brothers and sisters suffering from harsh winter conditions in the Levant.”

Urgent relief
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has also directed those concerned to immediately start the airbridge to transport urgent relief shipments.

Shaikh Mohammad said: “The UAE, under the leadership of His Highness Shaikh Khalifa, has been and will always remain a great supporter of refugees, never abandoning its humanitarian obligations and duties under any circumstances.”

Shaikh Mohammad added: “We cannot forget all the humanitarian causes that Shaikh Khalifa stands for. His compassion towards suffering people has always inspired the people of the UAE, and his efforts to be the first to help other nations in times of need has granted the UAE global respect and appreciation.”

Shaikh Mohammad has also directed the formation of a special work force from the Emirates Red Crescent, Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the International Humanitarian City, and Dubai Cares.

Effective immediately, the work force is to start transporting urgent aid packages to refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon, in addition to those affected by the weather in Palestine and Gaza.