The International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai has chartered a cargo plane to deliver ventilators and other critical supplies to Somalia in support of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) COVID-19 response.
The plane also contained relief items from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for those affected by the floods in the country.
The Mogadishu-bound flight carrying over 35 tonnes of life saving equipment was chartered at the personal request of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Robert Blanchard from WHO’s logistics hub in Dubai said: “Dispatching more than 160 shipments to 100 countries, WHO continues to support health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response across the globe by equipping them with emergency supplies, including personal protective equipment and laboratory diagnostics. This airlift represents the generosity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, in supporting WHO efforts through airlifts and the IHC platform to the whole humanitarian community.”
“UNHCR is sending airlifts and sea shipments of emergency assistance including jerry cans, soap, blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and plastic sheets to help thousands of internally displaced Somalis affected by the floods.
Meanwhile , Nadia Jbour, Head of UNHCR Office in the UAE, said: “Since the beginning of this year, more than 200,000 Somalis have become internally displaced either due to climate-related disasters and conflict. We fear that these emergencies combined with the spread of COVID-19 will lead to devastating consequences, unless there is a strong and coordinated response from the international community and humanitarian actors. UNHCR is proud of its strategic partnership with IHC and appreciates its significant support to UNHCR’s efforts throughout the years to respond to the humanitarian needs of refugees and displaced people worldwide.”